Maccabi Star Reporters: JCC Cares
The story of local Holocaust survivor, Norbert Rosenblum
By Ari Wohl & Tal Surkis
August 7, 2018
On August 7, we met Norbert Rosenblum who is currently 92 years old. Norbert was born in 1926 in France. Norbert’s father passed away when Norbert was nine years old. Then, his mother and sister went together to Germany. After the Kristallnacht in 1938, Norbert went to France alone while his mother remained in Germany. After that, Norbert lost contact with his mother and sister and had to live alone in France at the age of 12.
When Norbert was a kid, he loved to play soccer. He attended a Jewish School, but once Hitler came to power, all of the Jewish kids in Schools were forced to leave the school. Norbert then attended a Jewish Orthodox School in Paris.
In 1938, Norbert joined a French Jewish Boy Scout group. After that, Norbert lived in the “Unoccupied Zone” in France and lived with about 100 kids in a castle. During that time, French policemen would take the adults and older kids to Germany, but since Norbert was young, he was not at risk. The people who owned the farms would warn the kids in the castle that the policemen were approaching so that they were aware of their arrival. The castle was dirty and almost everyone had lice.
When Norbert was 15 he was part of an underground organized transportation project that brought kids in France on a journey through Spain, Portugal and eventually he came to Brooklyn, New York. Once in Brooklyn, he lived with his aunt and was reunited with his sister. He then went to high school and became an electrical engineer and worked in the aerospace industry. He worked for companies that indirectly worked for the U.S. Government. After that, Norbert went to Israel for six years, 1969-1975, and worked as an electrical engineer for several companies.
Now, Norbert lives in Anaheim and has been married to his wife for almost 65 years. He has three sons and five grandchildren. He believes that people need to remember Jewish History and that people must never forget The Holocaust. He has openly spoke to High Schools in France, Germany, and the U.S. about his life story. He also is still in contact with the French Jewish Boy Scout group that he was part of when he was young.