They Gave Me Life: Rina Quint's Holocaust Story

Rina's family was murdered during the Holocaust. After a string of deaths of adoptive mothers, she was adopted by a Jewish couple who had no children.

Rina Quint was born as Freida "Freidel" Lichtenstein in December 1935 in the city of Piotrkow Tribunalski, Poland. In 1939, when Rina was three years old, the Nazis invaded and occupied her hometown. In October 1942, her mother and her two older brothers were deported to the extermination camp of Treblinka where they were murdered. Rina, who was not yet seven years old, was deported with her father to a concentration camp, where she pretended to be a boy in order to survive.

When Rina's father was murdered, she was left alone in the camp. She was finally sent to Bergen Belsen concentration camp. In the various camps she was interned she was adopted by different women, but they all died.

At the end of the war, Rina went to Sweden, where she was adopted by a Holocaust survivor who passed away a few months later. In 1946, Rina emigrated to the United States with an adoptive mother, also a Holocaust survivor, who after three months also passed away as a result of her poor physical condition.

Rina was then adopted by a Jewish couple who didn't have children. Rina earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education and worked as a teacher in schools and, as a lecturer at Adelphi University in New York and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In 1984, Rina and her husband emigrated to Israel with their four children who were already married. Rina has been volunteering for more than 30 years at Yad Vashem where she meets with groups from around the world.

Comments (5)

(5) Laura, August 1, 2020 1:06 PM

May G-d bless Rina, her family and all of the people who love her with peace!

(4) Dov, July 31, 2020 4:10 AM

Dignity and purpose

I grew up across the street from the Quint family. I remember Mrs. Quint carpooling me, her son, and some other boys to yeshiva. There was never any mention or discussion of her past nor did we have any clue as to what she had endured. Her husband was a highly regarded Talmid Chacham and legal scholar. They were a family that exuded a quiet sense of dignity and purpose. The world is a richer place with families like that in it.

(3) Shelly, July 30, 2020 2:35 PM


Mrs Rena Quint is an amazing woman. Not only because of her survival of a most heinous period of time. But because of her demeanor. She has dealt with losses beyond anyone’s imagination. Yet she has taken upon herself to reach out to others, to share her story, to volunteer her time, to make sure the immense suffering she and so very many others went through would not be in vain. Truly an inspiring story and a most inspiring woman. May she and her family be forever blessed.

(2) mathew varghese, July 29, 2020 3:52 PM

sound spirit in me person dead body

To get english written letter from file no7 & replace it reverse of it orginal ,allthree hiuses along with 2 acres of land sold money & 551.12 money kept at brotherjee feet

(1) Thoma Daniel, July 24, 2020 3:10 AM


And I thought I had troubles. What faith she had.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Newsletter.

Our privacy policy