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Survivor Profiles: Janine Oberrottman

Those who died will be remembered and accounted for not only in the artifacts, the art, the library, but in the heart of its most dedicated and competent staffers I have ever encountered in any organization and in the enthusiasm of its army of volunteers... The legacy will live and go forth not only within the walls of the Museum and in its many programs but, hopefully, in the hearts and minds of the young and the old who will visit it, who will remember and, hopefully, use their knowledge in Tikkun Olam.

Janine Oberrottman

Her Story:

In 1925, Janine Oberrotman was born Janina Binder in Lvov, Poland. She was an only child. In 1941, at fifteen years old, Janine and her family were forced to move into the ghetto. While in the ghetto, Janine’s father was caught stealing potatoes and was deported to Janowska Concentration Camp, where he was killed. Janine was able to escape to her Aunt Wanda’s house in a nearby town. After using papers obtained from her non-Jewish friend, Janine was able to travel to Ponikwa, where her maternal uncle and grandmother were hiding as Christians. Janine’s mother died during the liquidation of the Lvov ghetto. In 1944, Janine was arrested on suspicion of being Jewish. The Gestapo lacked evidence of her origins and she was sent to Stuggart as a Polish forced laborer. She spent the rest of the war pretending to be Catholic and was liberated by the French army in Spring 1945. Janine met fellow Survivor Joseph Oberrotman, and they married in 1950. Janine, her husband, and her first son moved to the United States where they settled in Chicago. The family had two more sons, and Janine raised her family and tutored French.

Learn More:

Janine’s Story: How I Survived the Holocaust USHMM testimony part 1 USHMM testimony part 2

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