Alice Gerstel and Simon Gronowski met in Belgium in 1939 when they were children their Jewish families became friends. The Gronowskis even hid the Gerstels in their home for two weeks while her father made arrangements to escape Nazi-occupied Belgium.
The Gronowskis stayed and hid for 18 months before being captured by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz. On the train ride there, Simon’s mother pushed him toward the door and told him to jump. He escaped safely and never knew that his childhood friend Alice and her family did too. She didn’t know Simon was alive and well either until her nephew found his memoir online, which mentions the Gerstels.
So now, three-quarters of a century later, these two old friends have reunited and met up in person right before Holocaust Commemoration Day. They hugged, kissed, cried, and told stories about the past, so happy to be there together after all these years.
Source: The Sacramento Bee