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By John Glatt
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Sixty-four kids, together with Wolodia and Tolla, have been then evacuated to a farm within the wooded area of Senart and Fontainebleau at the Paris outskirts. One evening, armed German squaddies burst onto the farm, and the youngsters narrowly escaped with their lives. “This crew of youngsters has visible the conflict of Paris,” wrote their crimson pass escort. “And lived via the entire hazards, studying sure merciless facets of scuffling with which maybe have left marks on their personality. on the subject of [Wolodia] Grajonca, although, I dare say with sure bet that the ethical harm isn't severe. ”1 “Everybody moved south,” remembered Wolodia nearly fifty years later. “There have been sixty-four young children among the a while of 8 and 16. My sister and that i have been between those. We walked, bought on buses, on trains, on carts and ate what lets. while a rustic is invaded, that’s what occurs. All hell breaks unfastened. ”2 Heading south strolling, the kids concealed via day after which walked twenty-five miles each evening lower than conceal of darkness. They scrambled for security as German planes attacked, frequently seeing useless our bodies at the road. They survived on berries, and all suffered critical malnutrition. simply open air Lyon, Tolla stuck pneumonia. She and Wolodia have been jogging hand in hand while she unexpectedly dropped to the roadside lifeless. Inconsolable, the nine-year-old cradled his sister’s head in his lap, refusing to be separated from her. The purple pass escort needed to drag Wolodia away as the Germans have been shut at the back of. Tolla’s physique was once left through the aspect of the line. From Lyon the youngsters walked 2 hundred miles to Marseilles, the place on August 19 they have been issued transitority passports by means of the yank Consulate. Little Wulf (Wolfgang) Wolodia Grajonca, as he was once indexed at the passport, wore a courageous smile in his photo. It belied the poor problem of the four-foot, six-inch-tall boy’s wretched trip throughout France, which had left him weighing simply fifty-five kilos. three At Marseilles he and the surviving orphans boarded a educate to Toulouse and crossed the Pyrenees into Spain, touring via Barcelona to Madrid, the place they spent months in a convent. “I was once residing in a convent with 11 children,” Wolodia remembered later. “A stray bomb that used to be intended for the massive urban subsequent to us hit the development that i used to be in. 3 of the youngsters didn't go away the construction. ”4 the kids then traveled to the port of Lisbon, the place on September 10,Wolodia and the 10 others—the in simple terms survivors of the sixty-four who had left Paris—boarded the sea liner Serpa Pinto sure for the USA. After identifying up extra refugees in Casablanca, the vessel trigger around the Atlantic for the two-week voyage to ny. through the crossing the send used to be stopped and boarded by means of a German U-boat after which a British submarine, however it was once allowed to proceed on its trip. On Wednesday, September 24, 1941, ten-year-old Wolodia Grajonca arrived at Ellis Island, undernourished and vulnerable. His harrowing trip have been so disturbing that he may block it from his reminiscence for years.