Pauline Cramarz Rubin and Samuel Rubin owed their survival to the forethought of their parents and the courage of the Belgian citizens who, Samuel said, “were just plain people who knew it was wrong for the Germans to be doing what they were doing.” In May 1940, Germany invaded Belgium without warning, conquering and occupying the country with lightning speed.
Pauline was only three when the war started. A year later, she and her parents—Polish Jews who had come to Brussels where her father worked as a furrier—went into hiding. Separated from her parents, Pauline stayed with different families, first in Leuven and later in the Ardennes region of southeast Belgium. Occasionally Pauline’s mother, posing as a casual acquaintance so as not to arouse suspicion, was able to visit her daughter. Usually, the encounters left Pauline feeling puzzled and unsettled. When Belgium was liberated “everybody was dancing in the village square and everybody was happy.” But for Pauline, freedom was tinged with sadness. She did not understand why the kind Belgian woman who had hidden her during the war told her she could go home now. She thought she already was home. After four years of separation, Pauline’s reunion with her parents was fraught with turmoil and confusion.
In 1950, Pauline and her parents came to the United States, settling in South Bend, Indiana. Samuel came to the United States in January 1948 and settled in Indiana later that year. Pauline and Samuel met on a blind date and were married on October 1, 1956. In 1958, they came to Houston where Samuel had a successful career as a pharmacist while Pauline worked for Prudential Insurance. They raised two children, Allan and Rhonda. Samuel and Pauline were active in Jewish organizations, Samuel as a member of the Jewish War Veterans 120 Club and Pauline as a member of Na’amat USA. They both served on the planning board for the 2001 Child Survivors of the Holocaust International Conference in Houston.
Henri Cramarz, survived
Eva Ejdelberg Cramarz, survived