Agnes “Bracha” Adler said it was a sixth sense that made her 13-year-old self defy her mother for the first time in 1944, when she refused to be willingly taken to the Budapest Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe.
“I told her, ‘I want to remain alive and free,’ ” Adler, 87 said in an interview last week. “I was adamant. I didn’t want to be killed and I looked for ways to hide and get out of certain situations.”
Adler spent the next several months alone and in hiding, moving from place to place, slipping under the radar of German police who would make raids looking for Jewish people to take prisoner or kill. The next year, the war would end, but Adler’s suffering continued.
The Westwood resident told her story to about 100 people Monday at Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. The event was sponsored by the Sisterhoods of Temple Emanuel and Temple Beth Or and the Pascack Valley-Northern Valley Hadassah.