By Carole Bell Ford
After global battle II the ladies membership of Brooklyn, ny, turned domestic and refuge to a small staff of younger girls, orphaned within the Holocaust, whose tales signify the stories of tens of hundreds of thousands of kid survivors. This booklet follows them from adolescence to the current as they, opposite to early predictions, outfitted new and profitable lives in the United States. In outdated age the ladies, once more, are defying bleak expectancies.
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Additional info for After the Girls Club: How Teenaged Holocaust Survivors Built New Lives in America
From 1942 on, anyone who was not working was regarded as superfluous and was deported. By 1944, when the final census was taken in the Lodz ghetto, virtually all the women were working (and 60% of all workers were women)” (Ofer & Weitzman, 1998, p. 9). 44 CHAPTER 3 Consequently, there was no aspect of the girls’ development in childhood and adolescence —intellectual, psychological, social, moral, physical—that was not adversely affected for at least some period of time by circumstances, conditions, and events which were “impossible” for those who didn’t experience them “to imagine,” as one child survivor very gently told me.
Lusia and Dorka, childhood friends and schoolmates, were blissfully oblivious to some of the worst realities of life in interwar Poland, particularly the escalating, virulent anti-Semitism. “We were too young to realize anti-Semitism,” Lusia continued. ” Lusia and Dorka played with their friends after school, did their household chores, and took advantage of the usual things there were for middle-class children to do in Lodz. A large and sophisticated city with a large Jewish population—after Warsaw, it had the largest Jewish population in Europe—Lodz was an unusual multicultural mix.
4. Now Vilnius, in Lithuania. 5. First and second generation Jewish-Americans who grew up in immigrant communities, such as my neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn, will recall similar language patterns. See discussion in Ford, The Girls. 6. In Here and Now, YIVO Library, New York, October 28, 2002. 7. An important resource for information on Poland in the interwar years is Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 8 (1994, September). Jews in Independent Poland, 1918–1939, edited by Antony Polonsky, Ezra Mendelsohn, and Jerzy Tomaszewsk.