Miracles Do Happen
In 1933, a 10-year-old Jewish girl, Fela Perelman, befriended a new family that had moved into her street in Lodz, Poland. There were three children in the Rozenblum family - Rose, Felix, and Maria. Fela and Rose became best friends, while Felix kept his distance. Five years later, Fela and Felix discovered that they liked each other, and soon became sweethearts.
When war broke out not long after, the Jews of Lodz found themselves under German occupation, and were soon forced into a ghetto. For Fela and her family, and her community, it was the start of a descent into hell. Fela eventually survived the ghetto, forced labour in Germany, and then the last 17 months of Auschwitz's existence and the death march out of it.
For Felix, the Germans' intentions were crystal-clear. Late in November 1939, as a 17-year-old, he decided to flee eastward, to Soviet-controlled Polish territory. He begged his family to come with him, but they felt unable to. Felix spent the war doing forced labour in the Soviet Union, often in very harsh conditions.
After the war, miraculously, Fela and Felix found each other. None of Fela's family had survived. Of Felix's immediate family, only his two sisters had survived - and they were now in Sweden. The young couple were bereft and alone. This is their story.
Fela and Felix (Fishl) Rosenbloom were both born in Poland in the early 1920s. They grew up in the same street in Lodz and became sweethearts, before their lives were devastated by the Holocaust. After the war, they reunited, married, and moved to Paris, France. They migrated to Australia with their son Henry in 1952, and settled in Melbourne, where their second son, John, was born. Felix died in 1995.