Survivor STORY

Regine Dollmann Rosenfelder was born in Antwerp, Belgium. After her father, Hertz, was deported, her mother, Sally (Nyssenkorn) escaped with Regine and her sister, Suzy, into southern France, where the girls were rescued by the O.S.E., a Jewish underground organization that set up children's homes in Unoccupied France.

After liberation, the family was reunited and returned to Antwerp. Regine came to Atlanta in 1948 with her two younger cousins, Freddie and Herbie Rosenbluth, and was taken in by her uncle, Charlie Rose, who had immigrated to America before the war.

Regine married John Rosenfelder, also a survivor.

The Human Spirit and Warmth

It's unbelievable. I mean, the people that, this was their job; they risked their lives to save all these children, all these children. They would take them in the middle of the night, they would, there was so much that was done. My mother, the same way. She didn't know; she didn't know which home to go to. They directed her. "This is the address. Tomorrow you have to be there. You have to leave this address because the Germans are coming. They're cutting off the streets from here to there. You will need to travel to this home and be there." And so the network that went on during the war of the group of people that worked underground to save the people that they could, the Jews, and placed us in these little towns that, where the people were living, and absolutely saying, "We haven't seen anything. We don't know who's there. This is a train station that's abandoned. There's nobody there." I wish we would know the names of some of these people that rescued us and made it possible to survive.

Coming to America
From a Child's Perspective

Oh, I was happy to leave Europe. I only hated to leave my mother and my sister. But, you know what? My mother was saying, "Oh, life is so wonderful in the United States. You're just going to love it! They're going to give you a car and you will have it so wonderful." I couldn't wait. And these wonderful clothes! Oh, America! This was just heaven!

So was it?

It was tough, because I couldn't speak English, I was in a strange surrounding, the food was different. I was eating cereal. I remember my aunt giving me shredded wheat. And she put this on my plate and I said, "What am I eating? This is grass. Dried grass. I am eating dried grass." And, it was just so different, you know, and, until I learned, I was very lonesome and I missed my mother a lot, and I missed the life that we had in Antwerp.

Learning English

So, she [my aunt] would sit us down, Herby and Freddy and myself, and, we came in June. We had three months to get prepared for school. So she would do the spelling. Every day we would have spelling tests, and she would call out words and we had to write them down. The first word I remember was "dirty", "dirty." I loved that word! And she kept saying, "Everything is dirty." You know, I never understood was dirty was. We were all dirty 'til she cleaned us up and Americanized us.

Regine Dollmann Rosenfelder