Hands belong to Geela Blitt, Rose’s cousin.
Born December 27, 1937 | Lodz (Lodzh), Poland
She grew up loved despite her family’s tragic circumstances and, to this day, she values time spent with her wide circle of friends and, most of all, her family.
By the time Lodz was occupied by Germany in September 1939, Guta Rozenberg (née Feder) had already fled east with her younger sister and brother and her toddler Roza. At the Bug River, a balagula (cart driver) hired by Roza’s father took the family across the border into Russia. The family initially lived in a polluted Ural mining town where Roza experienced respiratory distress that led to lifelong disability. Her family was eventually allowed to relocate to Uman, Ukraine, where Roza’s father was conscripted into the Red Army. The sole survivor of a German attack on his unit, he was later discharged. Eventually the family made their way by train to Kazakhstan, but sadly Roza’s infant brother Joseph died in his mother’s arms on the way. In Kazakhstan, Roza spent her days alone while the adults worked hard for paltry wages. Breaking her meagre lunch of bread into pieces, she pretended that one was a piece of meat. She had no playmates, no toys, and no formal education.
After the war, Roza’s family briefly returned to Poland. They soon discovered that her uncle Moishe—one of thousands of Jews saved by Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara—was the only other surviving family member. Roza and her parents lived briefly in Paris before settling in Montreal where they were followed by her aunt, uncle and two cousins a decade later. Rose, as she was now known, earned her high school diploma and became a bookkeeper. She and her husband Frank Rosenblum have two sons and four grandchildren. A strong supporter of Israel, Rose has been an active Na’amat volunteer.
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