June 15, 2024
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Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story With IDF Soldiers

(Courtesy of FIDF) At just 3 years old, Rena Quint’s life was uprooted when the Nazis invaded her hometown of Piotrków Trybunalski. On Thursday, one day prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Rena shared her heart-wrenching journey and miraculous story of survival through the Holocaust, in her living room in Jerusalem with 30 soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Friends of the IDF (FIDF) facilitated this meaningful, emotional gathering to provide soldiers with a heightened sense of purpose as they bravely protect the Jewish homeland, a safe haven for Jews everywhere, leading up to the 75th anniversary of its establishment this spring.

In 1942, at the tender age of 6, Rena’s mother and two older brothers were transferred to the extermination camp of Treblinka. She and her father spent several years slaving in a glass factory before her father, and a woman who was watching over her, were killed. From that point on, several other women at the camp cared for her and were ultimately responsible for her survival. Against all odds, Rena was finally liberated in Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was the sole survivor of her family.

At the end of the war, Rena went to Sweden where a Jewish woman, also a Holocaust survivor who had recently lost her daughter, suggested that she take her daughter’s visa and go with her to America. The woman died several months after arriving and Rena was then adopted by an American couple and went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.

Proud to be a school teacher and lecturer at Adelphi University in New York, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rena established a new life for herself. She eventually made aliyah with her husband and four children. For more than 30 years, Rena has dedicated herself to volunteering at Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, where she speaks with groups from the world over.

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