(René with her sister Agnes, and Elisabeth and Erna Roth/Anolik in 1945)
René recalled seeing the American army. “When the troops were marching in, taking over the city, we were out there waving at them and welcoming them. Of course, the German people looked at us that we were traitors. They didn’t realize that they were [the traitors]—that it meant freedom for us.”
After the war, René went to work for the British military government and married an American serviceman in Germany. She moved with him to the United States in 1948 and together they had five children.
When speaking about the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Florida Holocaust Museum she says, “It means that there is hope, there is always hope, and you should never give up. And I hope that it never happens again, even though you were questioning antisemitism, there is a lot of it, especially now in Europe, some of the countries, but hopefully it won’t get as far as it did in Germany. And also, the fact that we have Israel. There is somebody who would be speaking up for us wherever we are. It means a lot.”
She believes The Florida Holocaust Museum is vital because it educates people to prevent genocides from happening again. “Well I think it’s a good thing that it’s there, that people can go and people can find out about it and they are taught what can happen if . . . well, that it never happens again and that people learn about it. It’s history.”
Story by: Jennifer Mohn, Jamie Kleckowski, and Emily Freeman
Edited by: Jared Stark and Kristen Wright