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Rochelle Sutin, née Szleif, was born and raised in the town of Stolpce, Poland (present-day Belarus). At age 16, after her mother and sisters were shot by invading German forces in World War II, she escaped into the woods to join the resistance movement. There she met Jack Sutin, another Jewish partisan, and the two spent several years fighting the Nazis and caring for each another despite the deprivation, terror, and constant threat of death. They married in 1942 in an underground bunker. After the war, they went back to Poland but left because of progroms against returning Jews. They spent time in the Neu Freimann displaced persons camp in Germany, where Jack became a photojournalist and their daughter Cecilia was born, before being allowed to emigrate to the USA in 1949. They moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and started a successful import business there. In 1995, they published a memoir entitled Jack and Rochelle: A Holocaust Story of Love and Resistance, edited by their son Lawrence, also a writer. Jack Sutin donated his photos in 1999 to the photography archive at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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