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Survivor Profiles: Janine Oberrotman

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 Oberrotman

Her Story:

In 1925, Janine Oberrotman (née Janina Binder) was born 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. Janine’s father was captured while re-entering the ghetto with food to feed his family, and was deported to Janowska Concentration Camp where he was killed. Using papers obtained from her non-Jewish friend, Janine was able to travel to Ponikwa, where her maternal uncle and grandmother were hiding as Catholics. Janine’s mother was killed in 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 Stuttgart 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. Janine raised her family, and worked as a French teacher and as a vocational counselor helping new immigrants to the United States.

Learn More:

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

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