- 69 business
- In Memoriam
- The Ds of Old
Jewish Culture Group conversation with Rose Mantelmacher
On October 13 of this year Rose Mantelmacher will turn 100 years old. That she has lived that long is notable, but even more significant is what happened 76 years ago when Rose was liberated from Bergen Belson by British troops. Sick with Typhus, she was unable to eat although suffering from malnutrition and desperately hungry. That probably saved her life because the troops did not know the proper medical protocols to feed the starving: many of the victims of the Nazi horror died from being allowed to eat as much as they wanted.
That is just one of the stories that Rose has told to family, friends, and to the Shoah Project. Rose Schwimmer was moved to a Displaced Person camp outside of Munich, where she met her future husband, Leo Mantelmacher, a tailor. Rose was one of seven siblings, six of whom survived the concentration camp, and the selection process overseen by Mengele. Leo was one of five siblings, all of whom survived Auschwitz. Amazing. Leo and Rose had only one language in common: Yiddish. That was also their daughter Shirley’s first language when she was raised, first in Rochester NY and then in Harrisburg PA.
One of Rose’s sisters was smuggled into Israel in a suitcase. The Schwimmers and Mantelmachers landed in the US and Israel, with many children and grandchildren born over the years. Shirley likes to say that her aunts and uncles have populated Israel.
Rose will be our guest at a special meeting of the Jewish Culture Group on May 30 at 2 pm Eastern. Her daughter, now Shirley Fergenson, will be present with her. Bruce Alpert, who leads the Jewish Culture Group, and I hope that you can be there with Rose, Shirley, and the rest of us.
If you plan to attend, please send an RSVP email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Zoom link will be sent out on May 28.
Shalom, Bruce and Arthur