Alpendistel #2 (K)eine Welt von Gestern. Der herausfordernde Umgang mit Erinnerungen

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Page 49


The Story of

HANNA WEISS’ FAMILY Hanna Weiss is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, born on 19th September, 1946 in the DP camp Deggendorf, Germany. Her parents did not tell her much about what had happened to them during and after the war. In the last ten years she started to fill in the gaps herself. She read many books and documents and also got further information from people involved in organizations like the Bricha or the Cyprus Organization. Today she is an active member of these organizations. An overview of a family’s lengthy journey to safety by Hanna Weiss.


y mother Pola was born to the Klot family in Vilnius (Vilna), then part of Poland, on 25th December, 1925. As far as I know they were modern religious Jews, her father Gedaliah was a grain merchant and her mother Rachel (born to the Slavin family in a nearby village of Prazaroki) was a housewife. My mother attended a private Jewish school and studied Hebrew and Yiddish. She also specialized in hand-knitting machines. Life during World War II When Vilnius was occupied by the Germans in June 1941, they were confined in the ghetto. Gedaliah worked with Polish friends who had a coal business. This way he could leave the ghetto and pass on information to Jewish partisans who had escaped the ghetto. According to a testimony given by a friend who had been there with them, the Klot family gave shelter and food to 15 other people in their apartment. They all huddled together in very harsh conditions. When the Germans liquidated the ghetto they were all captured and sent to various labor or concentration camps. At the gate of the ghetto, my mother was separated from her mother Rachel. She was probably murdered in Ponar and buried in a mass grave.

Rachel Klot and other Jews in a cattle wagon