Hands belong to nephew Abe Ber.
Born June 26, 1924 | Ozorkow, Poland
Died February 26, 1989 | Hollywood, Florida, United States
Rachel had a great eye for design and style. She always dressed elegantly and decorated her home in the latest fashion.
Rachela was the second youngest of eight siblings. Her father Laib studied Torah and Talmud in the synagogue across the street, while her mother Frida ran the family haberdashery with the help of the oldest children. Rachel’s parents and most of her siblings—some married and with children of their own—are believed to have been rounded up and murdered at the Chelmno death camp. Rachel, two of her sisters, and one brother-in-law were forced into the Ozorkow Ghetto and then the Lodz Ghetto, where Rachel met her future husband, Layzer (Leon). Rachela and her sisters were transported to Auschwitz in September 1944. Rachela and her sister Sala were deemed fit for work. Their youngest sister, Leah, was sent to the gas chambers. Four months later, Rachela and Sala were sent to the Friedland labour camp—a sub-camp of Gross-Rosen—where they were forced to work and then sleep on a factory floor.
Liberated by the Red Army, Rachela and Sala were sent to a Displaced Persons camp in Zeilsheim, Germany. Layzer found Rachela there, and they were married in a double ceremony alongside Sala and Michael Ber. Layzer and Rachela hoped to immigrate to the United States; because she was pregnant, they were held back until their son Larry was born. In 1948 the family settled in Montreal. Labelled “too nervous” to work outside the home, Rachel, as she was now known, threw herself into managing the household and raising her family, which grew to include two more children, Philip and Felice. Once they were financially stable, Rachel and Leon enjoyed travel. When Leon retired, they spent winters in Florida, where Rachel cherished time spent with family, especially her two adored grandsons. Tragically, Rachel’s life was cut short in a Florida car accident.
Copyright © 2023 Here to Tell - All Rights Reserved
An Initiative of Calgary Jewish Federation