Chapter 5 Transcript : I Didn’t Ask Him His Name

Note: We Share The Same Sky is produced to be heard and not read. We encourage you to listen to the audio which includes emotion, accents, laughter, music, pauses, and emphasis that can not be transcribed to this page.

HISTORICAL TAPE (William Fulbright): As part of their plan to enslave the peoples of Europe. The Germans have methodically destroyed the intellectual leaders and educational facilities of the conquered countries. In the early days of the war, they gave particular attention to the destruction of scientists, students and teachers. In fact anyone who might in the future provide leadership for the revival of the victims of their aggression. 

HANA DUBOVA : The world is falling apart around me. And my prime concern is to get, to get to a school. I had shelter and I had food. More than plenty of food. The people liked me. I liked them. My language was getting passable, what I call pedestrian language. But I didn’t go to school. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : School was important for Hana from a young age. Her parents repeated the same advice over and over again. They would always say 

HANA DUBOVA : What you know, nobody can take away from you. That was hammered and hammered into our head all the time. So I spoke to the farmer and said I really really would like to go to school. And she said well, you can go to school. So, I did apply to different boarding schools. And, I told them that if they give me free education, I would clean the school premises. Whatever they needed. Either the blackboard or the classrooms or the toilets and windows. Whatever needed, I would exchange my hands, my labor for an education.

One school agreed. 

HANA DUBOVA : It was a really upperclass finishing school. Which meant that the girls from better families had to learn how to be good hostesses. They learned about hygiene. They learned about childcare. They learned about folding napkins. They learned about cooking. Somewhat little Danish history. Little math. Little geography. But mostly it was geared towards that.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Hana was 17 when she arrived at school. She was welcomed by the headmistress, who dressed in all black and wore a black bowler hat with a velvet ribbon that tied beneath her chin. The semester had already started. 

HANA DUBOVA : I was the true Cinderella. These girls were from well-to-do families. Not just money-wise, but contact-wise. They all knew the right society. They all were well dressed although we wore uniforms. They went to dances with the boys academy. 

And I had nothing. I didn’t have a uniform. I didn’t have textbooks. I worked in the morning. Went to class. I wasn’t even in the dorms with the girls because they put me like in the maid’s quarters and I had a chest under the slanted window. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Every night Hana diligently copied every word from borrowed textbooks to her notebook, always using a green pen. // She stored them on the chest, which was under the slanted window.

HANA DUBOVA : I copied and copied and copied everything. And one day I come to the room and the snow came in and everything which I wrote was washed out. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : All the writing and copying she’d done, was now a puddle of green ink. She’d been stoic for so long. There’d been plenty to be upset about, but it was this seemingly small thing --  these soaked pieces of paper -- that broke her. 

HANA DUBOVA : The world is falling apart. My parents are in Concentration Camp and I start crying and crying and crying over this washed out notes which I make in classroom. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Hana’s envy went much deeper than the class divide between her and her classmates. She found herself painfully jealous of the girl’s families and consumed by the feeling that the other girls hated her.

HANA DUBOVA : In my head was, as I said the world is falling apart, but I am concerned about these girls hate me. They look down on me. I had an accent in Danish. Right. Like I have in English. I was not one of them. I worked in the morning. I worked at night. I was a total outsider. I really had the feeling that they hate me because I was totally different. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : But when the holiday season came, Hana’s classmates surprised her with a gift.

HANA DUBOVA :  When they went home for Christmas vacation, they gave me a big Christmas present with textbooks. And a ring. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Hana told me it was one of the most precious gifts she ever received. 

HANA DUBOVA : I always think, you know, how different it is what is in your head and what is in your reality. because I did realize that they can not really hate me that much since they are giving me textbooks. You know, I thanked them and I cried, because I, in my mind I accused them of something that was not really correct. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Hana studied at the boarding school for about a year. One of the teachers there took a liking to her and after she graduated, the teacher helped her find a job as a maid with a banker’s family. She went from studying how to supervise a maid to being one.

HANA DUBOVA : The bank was on the first floor. The bankers lived on the second floor and I lived on the third floor in the maid quarters. And this is where it happened where one day a young Dane came and knocked knocked on the door. He said to the banker’s family, I understand that you have a Jewish maid. And they said yes. And he said there is going to be a raid against the Jews. I will take her to safety. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : By this time, America had joined the war. The allied and the axis powers were killing each other with speed, escalating the violence that would lead to the end of World War II. 

1943 brought a psychological turning point. Germany wanted Stalingrad, a city in present-day Russia. So they fought Soviet forces for four months. It’s still considered one of the bloodiest battles in modern warfare -- Almost two million people / / were injured or killed. Germany surrendered, and now the Soviet Union, an ally to Great Britain and the US, could take control of the war.

In Poland, there was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest ghetto that the Nazis created in Europe. They blocked off part of the city with walls topped with barbed wire.  They imprisoned more than 400,000 Jews inside before deporting them to concentration and extermination camps. When the Jews revolted, they were led by the young people -- not much older than Hana. It took the Nazis a month to beat the uprising. Then they razed the notorious ghetto to the ground.

By this time in history -- gas chambers had been built. The systematic murder of the Jews was underway. The Nazis called it, The Final Solution.
The letters home from Hana’s parents had stopped coming long before. Following their murder in Sobibor Extermination Camp, an uprising took place there as well and the camp closed. Their ash laid the foundation for the revolt. 

The war was changing in Denmark, too.  In August of 1943, the Germans officially dissolved the Danish government. It was time for the Jews to flee.

The stranger who came for my grandmother on his bicycle led her by bike through the country, 

HANA DUBOVA :  I didn’t ask him who he was. What he was. Where he was from.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : They biked down south to a tall white church that sat like a crown against the sky. 

HANA DUBOVA : And he said goodbye and left. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The shadow of a pastor appeared in the doorway and led her to the bell tower where she found a dozen other people already waiting.

HANA DUBOVA : The minister was hiding other Jews whom I did not know. And also was hiding some Danes who were underground.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The bell tower was dark and cold.  The walls were built from raw wood. A few small round windows dotted the attic, just enough natural light to remind the refugees that day always becomes night.

HANA DUBOVA : We slept on straw mattresses. They brought us some food, up to the bell tower and told us to hold our ears when somebody comes and rings the bell every hour on the hour. and we were told that there’s going to be a certain code and when there is a code we have to run to the beach. And a couple days later the code came and we ran to the beach. And we hid under the upside down-turned sailboats

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Some sailboats they found on the shore.

HANA DUBOVA : and then there was another code. A whistle. To run to the fishing boat.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : While Hana had been waiting in the church tower, she’d learned that the illegal crossing to Sweden cost money. 

HANA DUBOVA : My head said, he will not take me. I am here. In hiding. But he will not take me. I have nothing. I don’t have a penny. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : She ran to the boat with the rest of the refugees. She said to the fisherman.

HANA DUBOVA : I have nothing to give you. No money. He says to me, I didn’t ask you.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : He let her on the boat anyway. And for the second time in her young life, my grandmother fled. 

I’m Rachael Cerrotti. We share the sky.

[[ SCENE : Sitting in Bent’s living room in Copenhagen ]]

RACHAEL CERROTTI : If the microphone becomes too much, just let me know. 

BENT MELCHIOR : It is okay. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Let Erika know.

BENT MELCHIOR : I am not afraid of this. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : You are very used to this. You have been doing this for years and years. 

BENT MELCHIOR : In that respect, I am relaxed. You know when you already become a part of history whilst you are alive. You hear your own story being told.

BENT MELCHIOR : [sigh] To tell who I am.... Well, I am Bent Melchior. That is for sure. I am a person who has been married for 67 years. We have 4 sons. We have 12, had 12 grandchildren. We are great grandparents to 21. So, already there we have a good background. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : That’s how Bent introduces himself. He doesn’t start with the fact that he was a professor, that he became the chief rabbi of Denmark, or that he’s dedicated his life to fighting for refugee rights. He doesn’t boast that at 90-years-old he’s still able to get a group of young children to sit still while he tells his life stories. He is wise and he’s gentle. 

BENT MELCHIOR : When people have to give an old man a compliment, they cannot say you are beautiful. You are handsome. All they can say is that you are a very wise man. Laughter

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I met Bent in 2015. My grandmother had told me that when the fisherman smuggled her to Sweden, that she happened to be on the same boat as a famous rabbi.

HANA DUBOVA : He was there with his wife and 4 children. Some of them were in their teens my age.  

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Bent was one of those teens. He was 14 at the time of the rescue. Four years younger than my grandmother. The rabbi was well known in Denmark and after the war, he’d actually become the chief rabbi. And years later, his son, Bent, would follow in his footprints and do the same.

When I first came to Denmark, I wrote to Bent. I remember walking into his home. Up the three flights of stairs from a busy Copenhagen Street to the rabbi’s apartment. I sat on his couch with a bold claim. I told him that my grandmother had crossed the Baltic Sea with him as a young refugee in 1943. He asked me a lot about her.  

BENT MELCHIOR : Was she 18 in 1943? But when she came to Denmark she was 14?

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I told him all about how she got to Denmark. How she left Czechoslovia with her friends from the Zionist Youth Group. And that the fact that I was sitting in his living room right now was because their lives intersected for one terrifying night in 1943. And, then I asked him to retell the story of the rescue. As he remembered it. I’d read his account before. Some of it matched up with my grandmother’s version. Some of the details clashed. But this is the fun of family stories. Everyone remembers things differently. His story of the rescue operation -- what would be known as the Rescue of the Danish Jews -- begins on that recurring date. September 29th. In the year 1943.

BENT MELCHIOR : My father became central to the story of the whole refugee period because he was the one who actually announced what’s going to happen.  

RACHAEL CERROTTI : For much of the war, German soldiers called Denmark the  “whipped cream front,” because by comparison, it was a lovely place to be stationed. While their fellow soldiers were facing bullets on the Eastern font, the Germans stationed in Denmark had luxuries like cake and bacon. There were blond girls to date and beaches to sit on. There was an air of normalcy in Denmark during a violent time.

Denmark received preferential treatment from their occupiers. With their blond hair and blue eyes, Hitler saw Denmark as being the ideal German protectorate. He thought that it would be the example of how Europe would look under his control. So, he let their government stay in tact. And since Denmark’s constitution forbade any descrimination on the basis of religion, the Jews remained safe in Denmark --  their protection became a symbol of Danish autonomy. 

Denmark’s King, King Christian the Tenth, would ride his horse around Copenhagen to show his authority in spite of the German presence. Pedestrians and cyclists would enthusiastically parade behind him.

But all of that changed in 1943. As the Germans faced defeat in the east, and the Danish resistance gained momentum, Hitler decided Denmark would no longer receive its preferential treatment. The time of the “whipped cream front” was coming to an end. 

Germans dissolved the Danish government and started arresting prominent leaders. They instituted martial Law. And made a plan to deport the Jews of Denmark. But someone leaked those plans -- actually a German officer did. 

BENT MELCHIOR : A German officer, which in itself of course is also very important to underline, that there were good Germans. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : A man by the name Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz was serving as a diplomat in occupied Denmark for Nazi Germany. He joined the Nazi party in 1933 and although continuously disillusioned by the party’s politics, he accepted the job during the war. When he learned about the plans to deport Denmark’s Jews, he leaked the news to a Danish politician who passed the news on to Bent’s father. And then the German diplomat traveled to Sweden, where he started planning with Swedish leaders how they could receive the thousands of people who would soon become Danish refugees.

BENT MELCHIOR : He told the story to some politicians, and as it happened the then chief rabbi of denmark was already arrested by the Germans and therefore the message came to my father.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : On September 29, 1943, when the Jewish community gathered at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen for Rosh Hashana -- the Jewish New Year --  Bent’s father prepared his remarks. I imagine him, like a biblical prophet speaking into the distressed crowd. He stood at the front of the synagogue and told them it was time to flee.

He said, quote, “You must also speak to your Christian friends and ask them to warn any Jews they know. You must do this immediately, within the next few minutes, so that two or three hours from now, everyone will know what is happening. By nightfall we must all be in hiding.”

BENT MELCHIOR : He was the one that said, Don’t be at home on Friday night. Pass the message on. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : And that’s what happened. Jews found refuge with Christian friends in the city and the countryside. And with neighbors and employers. When Gestapo officers arrived at the homes of Jews, they found empty apartments and houses. The Jews were being hidden in summer homes, basements and on farms. Hospitals in Copenhagen checked in Jews as pretend patients. Giving them typical Danish names. Entire medical staffs and most countrymen and countrywomen, cooperated to save Jewish lives. In the weeks during the rescue, even staying silent about the underground efforts was a form of resistance.

The plan was for the Jews to hide. And then to flee. To Sweden -- a country that had remained neutral throughout the war. The German diplomat had succeeded in organizing with the Swedish government to receive the Danish refugees. 

For 10 days, Bent and his family hid in a priest’s home. They were one of the last families to flee Denmark. By this time, the Nazis had caught on, so the Danes were now directing refugees down south. A boat ride from southern Denmark to Sweden would take longer, but it’d be less likely to be caught by the Germans. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Can you recount this part of the story for me? 

BENT MELCHIOR : Well, we started out where we were hidden in a priest’s house. So, we went by train. You know this was also a problem because I had a little brother who was 5 years old. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : They worried a five-year-old could say something to give them away on the train. 

BENT MELCHIOR : So we put my mother and my little brother into a first-class wagon for themselves. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : In the first-class compartment, they’d have more privacy -- and less chance of being noticed. 

BENT MELCHIOR : So we were a little bit shocked when we saw that the other woman in that compartment was taking out a German newspaper. Every person was a possible enemy. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : On the night of October 8th, the first night of Yom Kippur, Bent and his family arrived to their next hiding place -- to a bishop’s home by the coast. 

BENT MELCHIOR : And he had 60 Jews in his house. And we were there only a number of hours. And, it must have been around half past 6, 7 o’clock that the cabs came and took us to the boats. 

What I remember from that place was that there was a policeman in full uniform. A Danish policeman who helped us and wished us what he could wish us in that situation. The whole town must have known about it. And that was a good sign. A good feeling. Because what we did was really not legal. 

HANA DUBOVA : The fisherman put us all in the hull of the little fishing boat and first he put linen and put herring on top of us. Slew and slew of little herring which he caught. So we were laying under there. With layers and layers of herrings on top. And we took off… 

BENT MELCHIOR : We were 19 on our boat. 

HANA DUBOVA : You could hardly breath. Some people were getting sea sick and fish sick and throwing up on each other.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The refugees sailed into the night. The dark sky mirrored the depth of the sea. Everyone lay silent, unsure of where they were going or what exactly they were running from. Hana carried a smile vile of poison, gifted to her by her father in 1939. In case of an emergency. Everyone understood that arriving to Sweden was a matter of life and death. The only other options were to drown or be caught by the Nazis. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : When day broke, the boat was drifting. No land was in sight. They should have been there by now. Rumors started to spread among the 19 people huddled in the boat. Maybe the fisherman was a criminal. Maybe he was a drunk. Maybe he was just lost. He then confessed to the passengers. He had never sailed into open waters before. He didn’t even know how to use a compass. 

BENT MELCHIOR : We were told that we would we would have up to 8 hours trip. And we did it in almost 18 hours instead of 8.

If we had not, by coincidence, hit Sweden, what would have happened to us. I realize how close we were to end the days there. 

[[ sounds of waves]]

RACHAEL CERROTTI : On a foggy Saturday afternoon during the war, a young Swedish boy named Per Arne was playing soccer outside of his family’s home. His father was a fisherman and they lived in a little fishing village directly across from the Baltic Sea. It was October 9th, 1943 and Per Arne was celebrating his sixth birthday. As he kicked the ball around on the grass, he noticed a boat in the distance. Even though the war hadn’t come to his country, he often heard the fighter airplanes up above and knew that it wasn’t normal for boats to be in the water. He ran inside to tell his father what he saw.

It was the boat that my grandmother was on. 

When I’d first met Bent, he told me that he was still friends with this fisherman’s family. And that this young boy now lived in his childhood home. So a few weeks later, I went to meet this stranger who was credited with saving my grandmother’s life. And that is how I found myself standing with Per Arne’s daughters on the exact spot where my grandmother touched land after the night she was lost at sea.

[[ SCENE : In the Persson’s Home in Southern Sweden ]]

ANNIKA PERSSON : My father told me that the weather like today, it was the same weather that day. 


ANNIKA PERSSON : When he was on the other side and playing futbol when he saw the boat.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I first met Per Arne and his family in March of 2015. 

Rachael Tape : I don’t know if your father would recognize her. I brought a couple photographs. 

ANNIKA PERSSON : Yeah, please.


Rachael TAPE : I don’t know if her face would. 


Rachael TAPE : That is around the age when she came. These are just some from around the same age. Thats a couple years later. 

PER ARNE PERSSON : Speaking Swedish

ANNIKA PERSSON : My father says, yes he thinks so. He is not so because he was only 7 years. But he can remember. 

PER ARNE PERSSON : Speaking Swedish 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The boy who had spotted my grandmother’s boat was in his seventies now. And his physical disabilities restricted him to his house. The same was true of his wife. Neither of them could even walk to the coast anymore.

Their home was full of nautical-themed artifacts. There were replicas of ships, small statues of soldiers, a brass helm. 

Dozens of clocks lined their dining room — digital clocks, antique clocks, clocks that made whimsical sounds on the hour, every hour. The time passed publicly thanks to the skinny hands that ticked by the minute and the bright red numerals that changed by the second. For a couple who was unable to leave their house without assistance, time was of the essence. 

BENT MELCHIOR : Here you have a story of common people. Just fisherman, normal, Swedish fisherman, had a wife and 2 children. And the boy who was playing with his ball, it was his birthday. On the 9th of October, 1943, he became six years old. So he had no thoughts of doing good or bad or anything. He saw something that during the years of war were very unusual, namely a boat on the sea. Today he wouldn’t run, nobody would run back and say oh there is a boat coming, there are boats coming all the time, but in those days, there was no traffic because it was dangerous so he, he really did a good deed without knowing he did a good deed. And then his father reacted.

[[ SCENE : In the Persson’s Home in Southern Sweden ]]

PER ARNE PERSSON : Speaking Swedish

ANNIKA PERSSON : He is just telling me a lot of things, so it’s hard to remember. There were 19 people on the boat. And my grandfather had to take his boat three times to get out and pick up the people. And yeah. And my grandfather was, he wasn’t afraid. He told what he was thinking and he did it like that. And that was very important for him. Also for my grandmother.

BENT MELCHIOR : Here was a fisherman, he understands, he must have known that there could be Jews from Denmark. Because in those weeks, that was the topic of what happened in Sweden. And he comes out and welcomes us to Sweden and what a welcome. 

That was a spontaneous reaction of feeling here are some human beings that are being persecuted. And we care.

[[ SCENE : In the Persson’s Home in Southern Sweden ]]

PER ARNE PERSSON : Talking in Swedish

ANNIKA PERSSON : Ya. You know, it was a fisherman on that boat. My grandfather came out to the boat and then told the fisherman, “Welcome to Sweden.” And then everyone came out from the boat because they didn’t know if they were in Germany or in yeah.

MONICA PERSSON : or in Poland. 

ANNIKA PERSSON : Yeah. They didn’t know where. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I know that was a big fear. 

HANA DUBOVA : Then the Swedish fisherman took us into fishing village. And the fisherman were fighting over who is going to whose house for breakfast or for lunch or for dinner or for food, ya know. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : On the shore, Swedish locals were taking the people from the boat home with them. Hana was alone.

HANA DUBOVA : I did not know anybody. So I said who's house am I going to go. They were treating us, you know, feed us. But I decided to go with the rabbi to the family of the fisherman. 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : She went to Per Arne’s house. When I met Per Arne and his family in Sweden, I only stayed with them for a short time. At least on that first visit. I watched the time pass on each of their clocks. Time felt slower when I looked at the digital clocks than the clocks with hands that counted the seconds. 

We ate dinner together and shared stories, laughing each time the language barrier kept us from exchanging details. 

[[ SCENE : In the Persson’s Home in Southern Sweden ]]


ANNIKA PERSSON : Oh, its too much in my head, laughter 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I am so sorry. Next time I come, I’ll know Swedish. 

ANNIKA PERSSON : My father says… 

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I’ve been back every year since. And in 2017, just shy of a year after I was widowed, Bent and I traveled to their home together. At 88-years old, he drove us through Copenhagen and across the Oresund Bridge from Denmark to Sweden. 

[[ SCENE : Bent & Rachael driving across the Oresund Bridge to Sweden ]]

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I want to note that we are crossing the Baltic Sea right now and you crossed the Baltic Sea with my grandmother almost 75 years ago. That’s pretty incredible. 

BENT MELCHIOR : It’s amazing. I feel you are quite right.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The bridge we crossed didn’t exist in 1943. It was built about 20 years ago. It’s 5 miles long.

We arrived to the Perssons home within an hour of leaving Copenhagen and were greeted by a cool August breeze. The salty air filled our noses. It was like time froze here. The smell was the same. The coastline was the same. Together, Bent and I walked down to the sea.

I looked down at the stones beneath my feet, grabbing a few and rubbing the smooth edges like a good luck charm. 

BENT MELCHIOR : It happens that stones can tell stories.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I pocketed one. A perfectly round, light tan stone with barely any blemishes. 

BENT MELCHIOR : When I am standing there at the beach, looking at that water. I see myself on the bottom of that sea.  

RACHAEL CERROTTI : The Rescue of the Danish Jews saved nearly 95% of Denmark’s 8,000 Jews. In just over three weeks, more than 7,000 people -- including non-Jewish spouses and members of the underground -- were illegally ferried across the Baltic Sea to Sweden, whose government promised immediate and unconditional sanctuary for all those fleeing Denmark. Fewer than 500 Jews were caught by the Germans and deported to concentration camps. 

And in this tiny little house on the coast of Southern Sweden, the story is preserved. 

BENT MELCHIOR : It is something outstanding. You enter this place. It’s not a big place. And you, you feel something special. Because they collected every little bit. Every note in any newspaper. It is in a shrine.

It smells of yes, something  happened. A place is not holy by itself. It’s a question of the people that are there that make a place a holy place. It is the actions by human beings that can change a place from a normal house into a holy place. And I think that is the kind of feeling I have to enter this little house.

The event of October 43’ has been central in the life of this family. To them, this event, meant now their life had become meaningful. They have saved lives. They have meant something to 19 people who somehow, stranded, arrived within their reach. You can not help the whole world. But, those that are within your reach, You can treat and respect as human beings.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : I said in the beginning of this podcast that this story isn’t chronological. Time jumps. My personal storylines have become so intersected with my grandmother’s story that I feel tangled in a web of past and present. My husband’s young death only makes sense in the context of my grandmother’s grief. And studying the political landscape of my grandmother’s childhood gives me fear when I read the news today.

In 2015 -- the year I met Sine in Denmark and Bent in Copenhagen and Per-Arne and his family in Sweden -- more than one million people sought refuge in Europe. In Sweden alone -- which still to this day is one of the most desirable European countries for immigrants over 165,000 people sought asylum. 35,000 of those hopeful refugees were children who arrived without their parents -- just like Hana. 

Then, the debates began -- who belongs here. Who should be allowed to stay. Who deserves asylum. And who -- should be sent back home.

MOUDI :  They came walking, you know. They came from Greece or from Turkey walking all around East of Europe. Hungary. In our case, there is no other option -- live or die.

RACHAEL CERROTTI : Next time on We Share The Same Sky… 

RACHAEL OUTRO : We Share The Same Sky is produced by Erika Lantz and me. You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps. Please subscribe and leave a review. We’re also on Instagram and Facebook at Share The Same Sky. 

Every episode comes with photographs, videos, and a curriculum that you can use in the classroom! Learn more at

Thank you to USC Shoah Foundation for making this podcast possible. My grandmother’s story is one of nearly 55,000 testimonies in their archive from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. This podcast is also supported by Echoes & Reflections, a program for Holocaust education throughout the United States.

I’m Rachael Cerrotti. Thanks for listening.

*This episode includes music by Lee Rosevere and Blue Dot Sessions*