Lillian Polus Gerstner has honored her maternal grandmother, Hedwig Husarzewski, who was born in Berlin, Germany, on November 5, 1904. Gerstner called her grandmother “Buba,” and recalls that “during the war, my grandmother kept important papers, photos and items in a box that she could easily grab if the air raid sirens sounded. Because of her foresight, these items, including the shoes my mother wore on her first birthday, survived the bombing of Berlin, and were passed along to me.”
Gerstner has honored her grandmother’s memory by giving her daughter the same Hebrew name that her grandmother had, which was “Chana.” Husarzewski was a small but powerful and determined woman who protested her husband’s and daughter’s imprisonment after the Fabrikaktion, the Nazi’s attempt on February 27, 1943, to round up and deport the remaining Jews in Berlin, in an episode known as the Rosenstrasse protest. Her daughter was released, but her husband, Zabel Moczydlower, was not. He was deported to Auschwitz on March 6, 1943. He did not survive.