These Holocaust Survivors Have a 70-Year-Old Love Story That Defies All Odds
An elderly couple from Melbourne, Australia shared their incredible love story in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC). Sigi and Hanka Siegreich (91 and 93) fell in love at first sight while imprisoned at the Czestochowa Nazi concentration camp in Poland during World War II. Sigi recalls not having much of an interest in meeting girls at age 21, but on Dec. 31, 1944 (18 days before the camp was liberated by the Russians) he saw Hanka for the first time.
"When I saw her, the whole world was turning around me. I saw a pair of beautiful eyes and I heard bells ringing . . . There was a pair of beautiful eyes looking at me, with a smile like I never saw in my life." Sigi told ABC. After speaking to her, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and won her over. "At that time, the people in the camp were terrible . . . he was very gentle." Hanka recalls.
While imprisoned, Sigi was forced to work in a munitions factory to make bullets for the Nazis. He had purposely been making the bullets too small for the guns in order to sabotage the Nazi army. When the Gastapo found out, Sigi went into hiding and only told Hanka his location. "She was the only person I could trust my life with," he told ABC. Hanka would risk her life to bring him bread and give him a blanket on freezing cold nights. Finally, Hanka was able to visit a second time in one day to tell Sigi the camp had been liberated and they were finally free.
They married the very next day and have been together ever since. On their 50th wedding anniversary they finally had a formal wedding ceremony in their daughter's backyard. Today, they have many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their great-grandson attends Bialik College where they are collecting 1.5 million buttons to represent and honor the children who died during the Holocaust. Sigi donated 180 buttons to represent his family members that passed away during the Holocaust. Of his wife he said, "She charmed me. That was that, the rest was history." To read more of their beautiful love story and to see photos of the charming couple, read more at ABC News.