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May 26, 1995 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-05-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PHOTOS BY HOWARD TRI EST

PHOTO BY GLENN TRIEST

Family Reunion

t the time the camps were lib- stadt. Finding her was luck more than brought to an Army camp," Mr 'Priest
said. "So naturally, there was a ques-
erated, Howard Triest was an anything else. It's a miracle."
tion about what to do in such a situ-
Unlike
some
of
the
other
camps,
American serviceman stationed
ation."
Theresienstadt
was
a
holding
camp.
in Czechoslovakia.
When Mr. 'Priest was transferred to
Prisoners
were
not
exterminated
His grandmother, Rosa Westheimer,
a
town
outside Munich, he took his
was several hours away in There- there.
grandmother
with him. The
sienstadt.
civilian
affairs
officers (Army
The two were reunited
police)
would
not
allow her to
shortly after the liberation of
She
is
mentally
alert
as
stay
with
the
Americans.
So
her camp.
she
made
the
daylong
drive
dis-
"When I saw her, the first
ever though she lost quite guised in Army fatigues, in-
thing I noticed was she lost a
a bit of weight and looks
cluding a lieutenant's bar on
lot of weight," said Mr. 'Priest,
the
coat's lapel. Those fooled by
a former Detroiter who now
rather old. She was 70
the
disguise saluted her.
lives in Florida. "I hadn't seen
last
week,
you
know.
With
Once
in Munich, Mrs. West-
her for six years. She just
heimer
stayed
with a sister-in-
turned 70 and had no idea
the help of decent food
law
before
going
to a Jewish
what happened to some of her
and
living
conditions,
she
home
for
the
aged
in the city.
family members."
She
received
a
U.S.
visa and ar-
Their reunion was a result
will gain weight.
rived
in
Detroit
in
1946.
of pure luck. Mr. 'Priest gave a
The night of the reunion with
Czech officer, who was on his
his
grandmother, Mr. 'Priest
way to Theresienstadt, a list
wrote
his
uncle.
The letter, dated June
His
grandmother,
Mrs.
Westheimer,
of family members he thought may
At 1900 hours last
2,
1945,
reads:
spent
that
first
night
in
an
empty
have been sent there. The officer re-
night,
a
Czech
friend
of mine delivered
room
set
aside
for
visiting
officers,
but
turned with his grandmother.
grandmother
well
and
safe to the gates
because
she
was
a
German
citizen,
"That night he brought her to the
of
our
post.
I
immediately
got her a
she
could
not
stay.
barracks, where we were reunited,"
room
nearby
and
some
food
brought
"It
was
an
unusual
thing
for
rela-
said Mr. Triest, a European-born Jew"
I had a hunch she was at Theresien- tives of American soldiers to be up there and we talked until late in the

A

Top left:
Rosa Westheimer disguised as an officer.

Top right:
Mrs. Westheimer three days after her release
from Theresienstadt.

Above:
Howard Triest

50

K

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