Families Torn Apart

In The Holocaust

by: Mary Jane McConnell

Hiding of the Jews

  • If a Jewish child was lucky, they could pass as a non-Jewish child and live out in the open.
  • The families and children that were not as fortunate had to hide out in attics and cellars, where they stayed silent for hours at a time.
  • These children and families had to stay silent and still, even when bombings were happening (they could not run and find a safe unless they wanted to be found).
  • The Jews would sometimes make false papers, to try to pass as not being Jews (they would try to pass as "Aryans").
  • During the holocaust, more and more Jewish families would set out to hide from the Nazi, so their families would not be broken apart.
  • "You have an appointment with a stranger on the corner of a certain street. She takes your child and disappears with her in the bus. That's how I gave her away... how I survived this, I don't know." -Unknown // This quote shows how parents gave away their children during the Holocaust.

The Jewish men, women & kids hiding out from the Germans.

Families Losing Family Members

  • Many of the family members believed that they would never lose their family members because were not the “unfortunate families or not as wealthy” but they were wrong.
  • The Germans and others killed as many as 1.5 million children in the holocaust with most of those children were being searched for after the holocaust from their families but they were never found.
  • The Germans would find hidden Jews and take them away from their families.

These pictures are of familys that had lost their family members in the Holocaust (during). The middle picture is of a women finding out that her husband is still alive from the Holocaust.


  • When the Holocaust was over, most of the parents went in search for their children but, there was not always a good outcome.
  • Most of the children that returned and survived the holocaust had no family to return home to after the Holocaust.
  • Only a very small percent of families were joined back together after 1945.
  • If they were lucky and found their child, they had to prove that that child was theirs which was hard since they had grown in the past 2 to 3 years.

  • After the war, thousands of children went into orphanages because of them never finding their families.

  • The search for family members were hard after WW1 because they were not sure if their family members were all alive.

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This is a brother & a sister that was seperated during the Holocaust. They thought that their brother/ sister had died in the Holocaust until one of their grandchildren found that they were both still alive. They meet up again after 71 years from being in the Holocaust.

Interesting Facts

  • Most of the kid taken away from their parents are Jewish.
  • Most of the kids taken from the Nazi's were found hiding out in attics or cellars.
  • The Nazi's tore families apart and sent millions of men, women and children to concentration camps.
  • When World War 2 was over, the Nazi's had taken over 6 million men, women and kids.
  • Thousands of people survived the Holocaust because they were protected by people of other faiths.
  • When the Nazi’s came to power, Jewish children became victims of antisemitic legislation which caused the nazis to tear apart families and take children, men and women.
  • Most families promised each other to look for their family members after World War 1 was over.
  • Many Jewish and other people exported from Germany to Japan of China by using visas to help get to safe countries like the US.

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These are family members that are Jewish that are being boarded onto a train to go to the concentration camps.

After the War Custody Battles

  • Most of the rescuers of the children did not release the hidden children to their families or any Jewish organization.
  • Some of these rescuers denied the courts decision and hid the children again (for the second time).
  • Other children were very close and attached to their charges that they never did wish to leave them.
  • After WW1, Jewish children were declared "war foster children" in the Netherlands. The amount of children that was declared this was more than half of the 4000 to 6000 children.
  • Some of the surviving Jewish children were returned to their parents while a lot of them (300+) were put to stay in non-Jewish families.
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These are kids after the Holocaust that have not found their parents so they are being held in a orphanage.

Personal Stories

  • A brother and sister that suffered through the holocaust (Hilda Shelik & her brother Simon Glasberg) lived life after the Holocaust for 6 decades thinking that there brother or sister died in the camps. They reunited after 60 years of thinking there other half was no longer living until their grandchildren discovered that they were both still alive.

I Have Lived a Thousand Years:

  • “Eight days later another drumbeat, another announcement. The one we have dreaded most. All Jews of Somorja are to be removed from the town and concentrated in a ghetto in another town- Nagymagyar, fourteen kilometers from here. In five days every Jewish family in Somorja must stand ready for deportation to the ghetto.” (Jackson 37).

  • “I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. I wanted to tell him that I knew he loved me… I run out of the house in my nightgown, barefoot. In the early dawn I can see the silhouette of a small crowd at the gate of the ghetto. I reach the gate, the crowd, out of breath. Mother, Aunt Serena, and Bubi are there among the handful of men and women. But Daddy is not. Daddy!... I did not even say good-bye to Daddy. I could not even kiss him good-bye” (Jackson 54, 55 & 56).

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This is Hilda Shelik & her brother Simon Glasberg that were seperated during the Holocaust and came across eachother 60 years later.

Video of Families Reuniting 70 Years After the Holocaust

Separated by the Holocaust: Family Reunion after 70 years