Liberated By English Soldiers, Soothed By German Nuns.

When English soldiers liberated the concentration camp Rosie had lived in for years, she and her cousin were so frail they were moved to a hospital for treatment.

While at the hospital, two German nuns took to the young women and began to touch their hair and tell them, in German, “It's a beautiful day.” Because of the conditions she had endured, it was difficult for Rosie to celebrate.

“My mental condition when the war was over was so poor that I had no emotion when we were told that we were liberated”

The nuns would continue to care for the women, seeing them every day to comb their hair, help them wash up and make sure they had enough to eat. Rosie was free, but she believed she was saved by the care the nuns gave her.

After regaining her strength, Rosie decided to return to Romania in search of her grandfather's home. She walked for days, and crawled through the grass for some so her striped clothing would not give her away, to reach the small village where her grandfather lived.

When she arrived, she learned she was one of five of her cousins who had survived the Holocaust. Before the war, there were 72.


A New Beginning In A New Camp

Rosie had hoped to salvage family photos from the home in which she was raised, so she made her way to her family's old lumberyard. There, she found the man who had helped care for her and her siblings before the war. When he saw her, he ran to her and hugged her. But, their reunion was dashed by the man's wife, who threatened to kill Rosie if she stepped foot in the home that was once hers.

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Later, Rosie also ran into someone who had recovered her mother's jewelry — which she had buried in a hole while living in the ghetto, as was customary during that time. Rosie had to buy her own mother’s jewelry back, and she did, taking a necklace and a ring with her.

It wasn't until meeting the man who would become her husband in a displaced persons camp that Rosie would find lifelong kindness and love. It was in that camp where Rosie and Irving married and welcomed their first son.

When they had an opportunity to emigrate to the U.S. years later, they did. And it was there that they built a legacy that endures today.

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"He will give his shirt away for you. He was an angel."

— Rosie Guttman, about Irving