• Born in Brussels in May, 1936.
  • Her mother was a naturalized Belgian citizen, whose family lived in Antwerp.
  • Grandfather in diamond business.
  • Some of her relatives were Zionists and escaped early to Palestine. Others escaped to Canada, Argentina, South Africa, England and the U.S.
  • Grandfather and an uncle were deported to Auschwitz. Uncle jumped from train, broke his foot and returned to Brussels. Grandfather was murdered in Auschwitz.
  • Grandmother hid in a hospital in Antwerp and survived the war.
  • Olga’s father was Polish and had an identity card that described him both as a foreigner and a Jew. His family (mother, sister and their families) were murdered in Poland.
  • In May, 1940, Olga and parents escape to France, hoping to avoid the German invasion of Belgium, but returned soon afterwards.
  • In Belgium, they saw their rights progressively disappear. They could not keep their leather goods business open and later, Olga was barred from attending school.
  • As Final Solution went into effect and raids on Jewish homes became more frequent and brutal, parents decided to escape to Switzerland.
  • They hired a guide to bring them secretly over the border to Switzerland.
  • This guide had taken friends of theirs earlier, but had turned them in at the border. He secretly denounced Olga and her parents and the Gestapo came to arrest them.
  • Olga and her parents sensed that something was wrong and escaped from their home right before the Gestapo arrived.
  • Olga and parents went into hiding in a small town outside Brussels, Rhode St. Genese, where they remained until Liberation (1942-1944).
  • While in hiding, Olga went to a Catholic school under a false name. Her father never left their hiding place and her mother rarely went out. Because her mother was born in Belgium, she spoke French and Flemish flawlessly and was able to pass as a Belgian Christian woman.
  • Many of Olga’s family members also went into hiding. One cousin joined the Maquis, or Belgian underground.
  • Olga was in constant fear of being given away to a Christian family for safer hiding.
  • There were several instances where Olga and her parents were nearly caught.
  • Olga and her parents were liberated in Sept. 1944.
  • After Liberation, they returned to a bombed Brussels and lived there until 1950, when they immigrated to the United States.