Survivor Profiles: Sharon Pitluk Silver
A single person can make a drastic difference in the way the world goes.
Sharon Pitluk Silver
Sharon was born in Knyszyn, a small town in Poland, in 1941. A year later, her mother encountered Nazi soldiers on the streets, and managed to hide her baby beside a bush as she distracted the soldiers. Sharon’s parents were killed, and she was taken into hiding by a young Catholic couple, who she lived with for the next three years.
In May 1945, Sharon’s uncle Akiva, a resistance fighter whose wife and newborn were killed, came to retrieve her from the couple. They refused to give Sharon up, forcing her uncle to come back during the night and steal her away from them. Sharon’s uncle took her to a displaced person’s camp and – after unsuccessfully searching for any other relatives – he and Sharon left for the United States.
They settled in Cleveland, Ohio, and Sharon’s uncle married the following year. The couple raised Sharon as their own daughter, and no longer ever spoke of the past. No Polish was spoken in their home, and even her brothers and sister grew up without knowing the truth about their story. Years later, Sharon married and moved to the Chicago area where she and her husband had three children and five grandchildren. Eventually she was able to visit her birthplace, meet relatives, and learn about her past.
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Photo credits: John Pregulman