Oral History

Edwarda Kleinfeld Rorat describes emotions upon liberation

After the German invasion in 1939, Edwarda and her family left Warsaw and moved to a small village near Lublin. Her parents were murdered by German soldiers in 1942. Edwarda was eventually taken in by the Rorat family. The Rorats owned a village store. She lived under their protection throughout the war and continued to live with them after liberation. She completed her education in Poland and later immigrated to the United States.


There, there was music playing. The bands were playing in the village, and it was like very festive. People were standing on this dirt road and waiting for some cousin and a loved one returning from wherever they were during the war. And it's strange that I had some expectations, also, that maybe my parents would be there. So I was waiting there, also, standing and anxiously looking who is walking. Uh, and there were many people united in the village. They were returning from wherever they were, underground, elsewhere, they were returning. And then, eventually, nobody was there anymore, and the band stopped playing. And it became clear that my parents were not coming. It's very strange because I knew at some level they were killed, of course. And yet, somehow the hope was there.


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