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22 August 2019

Rosalina’s Journey

I was born in the Netherlands. My immediate family consisted of my mother, father and a brother and sister. My future husband, Louis was my neighbour.

The war started and all we heard was that family members “disappeared”, only to find out later, they had all been sent to the gas chambers. 72 family members died in concentration camps.

The Germans made every Jewish person over the age of 10, to be easily identified by wearing a yellow star. My father thought it would be safer for my brother and sister to be taken to countryside, where he paid some farmers to protect them. Sadly, my brother and sister were discovered and taken to the Sobibor. They were killed upon arrival. My parents lived their entire lives regretting the choice, to have entrusted their children to those people.

I was in hiding with my parents for the entire war. A kind priest and some nuns risked their lives to safeguard us. We hid underground on the church premise, all the while hearing bombs exploding around us and knowing that the villages were on fire.

When the war ended in 1945, everyone was trying piece their lives together. Louis had lost his entire family, so came to live with my parents and I, and we were married.

The gruesome memories of the war were too much of a burden, so with 3 girls under the age of 4, we emigrated to Australia to start a new life.

I have been here for 68 years and I was 3 months away from my 70th wedding anniversary, when Louis passed away in Arcare 3 years ago. I now have 7 grandchildren, and in October we are expecting great grandchildren numbers 10 and 11. What a joy it is to have built a large, extremely close family after the losses we have endured!

A story written by Arcare Malvern East client, Rosalina Cohen.

“The team members here at Arcare Malvern East thoroughly enjoy Rosalina’s company. She is a caring and generous lady, who participates in most of the activities here at her home. We wish her many more years of good health and happiness. ” Lifestyle coordinator, Tina said on behalf of Arcare Malvern East.

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