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Blanca Rosenberg (1923–1998)

Author of To Tell at Last: Survival Under False Identity, 1941-45

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Blanca Rosenberg, née Nebenzahl, was born in Gorlice, Poland, to a Jewish family. She studied law at the University of Kracow and married Wulf Rosenkranz, a doctor. After the Russians retreated from their invasion of Poland, her husband went with the Soviet army, leaving her behind in 1941 with their baby son, Zygmund. When Nazi Germany invaded at the start of World War II, she was in Kolomyja in eastern Poland (now Ukraine), where she learned that her parents, brothers, and Zygmund had been deported. She escaped the Kolomyja Ghetto to the nearby city of Lwów (Lviv) and passed herself off as a Polish Catholic peasant. She was joined in a life on the run by a friend, Maria Rosenbloom; together the two women went through many harrowing ordeals, including narrow escapes from arrest and continual ruthless shakedowns by police officers, greedy landlords, and assorted blackmailers and anti-Semites. They spent the last months of the war working as maids for wealthy German families in Heidelberg. None of her immediate family members survived the Holocaust. After the war, she and her first husband divorced and she remarried to Samuel Rosenberg, a psychiatrist, with whom she had two more children. In 1949 she emigrated to the USA, eventually settling in New York City, and became a social worker and psychotherapist. She also had a distinguished career as an assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work. In 1948, she began writing her memoir, To Tell at Last: Survival Under False Identity, 1941-45. It was first published in 1984.
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