Whose Child Are You?: The Story of Tswi Josef Herschel

Given to non-Jewish strangers by his parents when he was a baby, Tswi’s traumatic early years led him to fulfill the dreams of his murdered parents.

Tswi Herschel was born 29 December 1942 in Zwolle, a small town in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. In January 1943, the family had to leave Zwolle and moved to Amsterdam where Tswi's father contacted non-Jewish Dutch friends and asked for help for his newborn son. In March 1943, a Protestant Dutch family took in baby Tswi, caring for him and raising him as their own child until the end of World War II. Tswi’s parents were transported to the transit camp of Westerbork in the Netherlands in June 1943. One month later, they were deported to the extermination camp of Sobibór, where they were murdered shortly after arrival. Tswi's grandmother, his only surviving relative, took him from his foster family after the war in order to give him a Jewish education. Tswi grew up, got married and had two daughters. In 1986, Tswi and his family immigrated to Israel.

With the generous support of: Adelson Family Foundation and The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims

Comments (3)

(3) Gloria Frisch, July 19, 2021 9:40 PM

Very inspiring stories! It's always good to read about non-Jews who would help Jews at risk to their own lives. I have been to Yad V'Shem and other Holocaust museums.

(2) Anonymous, July 13, 2021 2:02 AM

This gentleman's story touched my heart like no other. Whenever I think that I might be having a difficult day, or problems in my life, all I need to do is to think of this gentleman; I am immediately reminded of the blessings in my life. I am the mother of five children and the grandmother of seven. I can't imagine the difficult journey that this man has endured to get to this place in his life. I ask God's blessing upon him. I think of the horrible decision that his parents were forced to make in giving up their child to complete strangers and the tremendous amount of love involved in the making of that decision. I pray that we may all stop and count our blessings and I thank this gentleman for sharing his story.

(1) Anonymous, May 2, 2019 4:58 PM

Very touching storey. How there are wonderful giving people who are selfless and then there are monsters among us who do not deserve to take another breath.


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