Ilse Simon

Susan Berman honors her aunt Ilse Simon, who was born in 1928 in Oldenburg, Germany, but was one of four sisters who did not survive the Holocaust. Two of her sisters were able to leave Germany on the Kindertransport, and she and her other sister were passengers on the ill-fated St. Louis bound for Cuba. They were sent back to Holland, where Ilse was living when the Nazis invaded Holland. Ilse was shipped to Westerbork Labor Camp and then died at the Sorbibor Concentration Camp in Poland.  Many years later, her sister Ruth Simon was able to visit an old German railcar that had been found on tracks near the Polish border. The car was most likely used to transport its victims to Sorbibor, where Ilse had died. Susan Berman described the experience as extremely moving for her mother, who had a look on her face that was “indescribable.”

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