Rodfei Zedek congregants recall terror under Nazi regime

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Staff Writer

Three members of Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., will share their childhood stories of Nazi-era Europe early next week.

The panel discussion, which serves as this year’s final meeting of the Congregation Rodfei Zedek Sisterhood, will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 19, at the synagogue. The three presenters’ stories are featured in a 2013 compilation about Jewish children hosted by Christian families entitled, “Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust.”

“A lot of us are familiar with these people, but we don’t really know about what their lives were like as children,” said sisterhood Program Chair Suzanne Krill Robin.

Presenter Leah Kadden is a Montgomery Place resident and Hyde Parker of more than 50 years. Born in Germany, she joined her family when she was 9 on the MS St. Louis, whose Jewish refugee passengers were famously prevented from disembarking in Cuba. Unable to reunite with her father, her family was assigned to return to Europe, this time to Brussels.

“We lived in this little apartment for a while, and we we’re being subsidized by the Jewish organizations there,” Kadden said. It would not be until 1946 that she crossed the Atlantic and reunited with her father, after the war broke out and she escaped with her mother and brother to Switzerland, where she was taken care of by a host family.

“I’m hoping that their presentations will put a face on some general ideas that people might have, make it more of a reality,” Robin said.

The discussion will be free, followed by a discussion with Rabbi Larry Edwards and a $36 kosher meal. For more information, or to R.S.V.P., call Congregation Rodfei Zedek at 773-752-2770.

j.bishku@hpherald.com