Klara Samuels

Klara Samuels (née Salamon in 1927) is the daughter of Moses “Mietek” Salamon, who is the brother of Zina, Leo’s mother. Her mother was Roza (Rose) Salamon (née Salman). Henry, Leo’s brother, said that Roza was “just like my mother”. When the Salamons’ apartment in Warsaw got bombed out at the beginning of September, 1939, they came to stay with Adek and Zina. Both families (minus Moses, who stayed in Warsaw a bit longer) escaped Warsaw and went to Białystok together in October, 1939.

Klara married Bertram Samuels. Below are a couple of pictures of Klara and Bert, the first one at their wedding, the second one a bit more recent.

She wrote “God Does Play Dice, the Autobiography of a Holocaust Survivor,” published by BainBridge Books (Philadelphia) in 1999, which contains information about the flight of Adek, Zina and Henry from Warsaw into Russia in 1939, as well as their life in Warsaw before that.

She and her parents were with Adek, Zina and Henry in Białystok during the winter of 1939 and into the summer of 1940, though during this time her father, Moses, was arrested when the family tried to escape to Lithuania. After Białystok, Adek, Zina and Henry were deported to northern Russia, while Klara and her mother went to Slonim (now in Belarus), which is about 30 miles from the town of Baranowicze, where Moses was imprisoned.

It is possible that the two families were never in contact after that point. Both Klara and her father survived the war and went to live in Tel Aviv. Although she came to the United States in 1947 and stayed with relatives (“Aunt Sonia” and “Uncle Solomon” — I have not yet worked out exactly who they were), I don’t remember ever knowing that Klara existed. I heard a rumor, I suppose through my father, that other family members supposed that Moses (who was a doctor) must have cooperated with concentration camp authorities in some despicable way in order for him and his daughter to survive as long as they did in places like Bergen-Belsen. Klara’s book explains in great detail how and why they actually survived, but of course others who were not with them did not know the true story. So perhaps they assumed the worst and cut off contact with Klara and Moses as a result?

In her book, Klara describes how Solomon, while helping her get established (paying her tuition, for example) was cold and unfriendly toward her.

When I was around 20, I attempted to visit some relatives in Brooklyn. (I can’t remember now who it was.) I knocked on their door. The husband came to the door and explained that he could not invite me in (I don’t remember why — perhaps his wife was sick). He gave me a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder as a consolation prize, and I went on my way. I now wonder whether this failed attempt at connection in any way relates to the apparent split between two sides of the family.

I met Klara’s son Mark and in September, 2010, I tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with her through him. (Mark had said she would be glad to hear from me.) My sister, Ruth Markovitz (née Hurwicz) wrote in an email, “We have met Klara. She attended our kids’ bat mitzvahs here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Also, our daughter Rebecca attended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of Klara and Bert in New Jersey (when my husband David and I were not able to attend).”

This is a link to a diary Klara wrote on toilet paper while in Bergen-Belsen -- mostly in Polish, but also some English and French.

This is a link to a Youtube video of Klara's testimony for the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
Klara Salamon
b: 26 OCT 1927
d: 23 AUG 2012
  • 26 OCT 1927 - Birth - (from obituaries); Warsaw, Poland
  • 23 AUG 2012 - Death - ; Livingston, New Jersey
Schlomo Lazar Salamon
1848 - 1-2-1914
Moses Salamon
1889 - 1972
Klara Salamon
26 OCT 1927 - 23 AUG 2012
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Moses Salamon
Birth1889Stawiski, Poland
Death1972 Israel
Marriageto Roza Salman
FatherSchlomo Lazar Salamon
MotherKejla Kacanowska
PARENT (F) Roza Salman
Death1943 Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (nearby hospital)
Marriageto Moses Salamon
FatherIsaac Salman
FKlara Salamon
Birth26 OCT 1927Warsaw, Poland
Death23 AUG 2012Livingston, New Jersey
Marriageto Bertram Samuels
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Bertram Samuels
Birth21 MAR 1922New York City
Death West Orange, New Jersey
Marriageto Klara Salamon
FatherSol Samuels
MotherRose Saunders
PARENT (F) Klara Salamon
Birth26 OCT 1927Warsaw, Poland
Death23 AUG 2012 Livingston, New Jersey
Marriageto Bertram Samuels
FatherMoses Salamon
MotherRoza Salman
MMark Samuels
Marriageto Donna Marie Lidstone
MSamuel David Ross Samuels
Birth26 JUL 1960Buffalo, NY
Marriageto Adeline Hooper
Descendancy Chart
Klara Salamon b: 26 OCT 1927 d: 23 AUG 2012
Bertram Samuels b: 21 MAR 1922
Donna Marie Lidstone b: 23 JUN 1964
Samuel David Ross Samuels b: 26 JUL 1960
error: Content is protected !!