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WWII survivor discusses her journey to America

Yvonne Aronson, grandmother to two Seven Hills students, visited eighth graders in teacher Judith Neidlein-Dial’s class in late February to discuss her experiences during World War II and how her family persevered in the face of immense tragedy. Aronson captivated students as she explained her days hiding in a convent during the war with her mother, great-grandmother, and great-aunt. After discovering the abbess was intentionally not sharing donations with orphans at the convent, Aronson and her mother left. Aronson eventually would live with a widow in one of Belgium’s suburbs for three years, only seeing her mother once a week. Aronson told students she found the strength to continue by teaching herself to read with five children’s books. When the war ended, Aronson, her mother, great-grandmother, and great-aunt were able to board a ship to America. “The morning we sailed into New York harbor, everyone on every deck was outside looking at it. It’s probably one of the deepest, strongest memories I have,” Aronson said.