In my elementary-school years, we lived down the street from a woman about my parent’s age. Her name was Betty. She was German and had a very thick accent. She and her husband were very gregarious, invited my parents and me over all the time, especially for a lavish holiday spread each December.
One time, she was very somber and began to tell us a story that has haunted me ever since.
When she was a very young girl, her family was hounded by the Nazis because her father published a newspaper. Betty and her family were sent to a concentration camp. She managed to escape the camp thanks to a group of nuns who had come to visit. The plan was for one of the sisters to secrete her out of the camp under her vestments. The other people in the camp scrawled messages to their families all over Betty’s body. The nuns hid Betty and they exited the camp. The nuns put her in a suitcase and put the suitcase under their seat on the train. And this was how Betty was able to leave Nazi Germany.
If I remember the story correctly, she was the only member of her family to survive the camps.