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August 22, 1986 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-08-22

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The victims especially children
are the focus of a Southfield
couple's annual Holocaust memoria


News Editor

The Broders have graphic memories of the Holocaust.

hey escaped from the
Sarny Ghetto, and
lived like animals in
the woods for five
years, hiding a child
and living with the
partisans. They feared
-the Nazis, they feared
anti-Semitic partisans in Poland and
the Ukraine and they were afraid of
starvation. They feared for their
next breath.
But Mayer and Mary Broder of
Southfield made a promise to their
fellow fugitives from the Holocaust,
and on Saturday they will keep that
promise again.
For more than 20 years the
Broders have been sponsoring a
Holocaust memorial program at De-
troit area synagogues. On Saturday,


Friday, August 22, 1986


at B'nai Moshe, the .Broders will
again urge the Jewish community to
remember the martyrs.
State Senator Jack Faxon and
Rabbi Stanley Rosenbaum will speak
as the Broders keep their unbroken
promise to the hundreds of
thousands of -Jewish men, women
and children who perished at the
hands of the Nazis and the Ukrai-
nian police."
Both Mayer and Mary were
nearly counted among the victims on
several occasions. Both were
wounded during their long ordeal.
He was shot twice in the leg while
crawling from a mass grave and she
was once shot in the shoulder. The
family was separated for months at
a time as they tried to escape the
Nazis and marauding bands in the
woods. Mayer would travel with one
band of partisans while Mary and
infant daughter Clara hid with other
We were just trying to stay
alive," Mary said, recalling the
five-year ordeal. Her husband "did
not expect to more than a half-
hour," he said, "so we lived from day
to day."
The Broders were among the
lucky few. An older child was killed
by the Nazis, and they lost their
parents and 75 other relatives in the
They picked up the shattered
pieces of their lives after the war,
coming to the United States in 1949


with the help of an uncle, Paul-
Broder, who still lives in the 'Detroit
area. Mayer Broder opened a restau-
rant and later was in the real estate
Their daughter Clara, now Mrs.
Harold Stern in Huntington Woods,
and her husband have provided the
Broders with two grandchildren, as
has their son and daughter-in-law in
Washington, D.C. Their son, Dr.
Samuel Broder, heads the clinical
oncology program of the National
Cancer Institute.
But the Broder's experiences in
the Holocaust and their promises to
fellow Jews in the woods will always
haunt them.
We told each other in the
woods," Mrs. Broder said, we prom-
ised each other that if we escaped, if
we survived, we would always re-
For the past 20-30 years, their
promise has taken the form of an
annual memorial meeting, first held
at Young Israel and Shaarey
Shomayim, and now at B'nai Moshe.
The passing years have not
eased the pain or the bitterness.
Mayer Broder is especially vocal
about the Nazi campaign against
Jewish children, recalling the signs
and radio broadcasts offering a Ger-
man bounty to citizens who turned
in Jews to the Nazis. They gave a
kilogram (2.2 pounds) of salt for
turning in a Jewish child," Broder
said. The Ukrainians and Latvians

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