Below is an excerpt of the Ostrowiec youth mentioned in the book ‘LeDerech Lecherut' (The Way to Freedom) written by Joseph Zvi Halperin. [Page:27]
The Ostrovtzer youth who reached our group were sent to us by the local committee people who feared for the refugees’ lives. They arrived in two groups: The first group, five girls and a boy, arrived in the second half of May; the second group, four girls and three boys, around a month afterwards. Some of these youths belonged to Zionist youth groups before the war, mainly to Betar; others came without any Zionist motivation, at times even against their will. (From among the thirteen Ostrovtzers who came to us in Kielce, only six settled in the Land; one girl who remained in Kielce was murdered there on July 4, 1946; six girls left us along the way and settled in America.)
Sarah Perl, born in 1926, grew up in a family of Gerrer chassidim. Her father was a leather merchant and the family’s financial condition was good. Her brother studied in yeshivah. Sarah was a serious girl, wise and intelligent, but sensitive and withdrawn. Sarah relates: “The hardest time of my life was after the war, after the camps, when I returned ‘home’ in May of 1945 to wait for my father, as we had made up before parting in Auschwitz. It’s a stretch to say that any of us believed then, in August 1944, that there was hope of getting out alive… My mother and brother were sent to Treblinka already in 1942, while my father and I remained in the labor camp outside town where we worked in a brick factory. My father looked after and pampered me. I received the bitter news of his death upon my return to Ostrowiec. It was reported to me by a man from our town who was sent from Auschwitz, together with my father, to work in an underground coal mine. According to him, my father was killed in a mine accident when the scaffolding collapsed. When I heard this, I was hit with shock and despair. I considered suicide but I was weak and didn’t have the strength or courage to go ahead with it. I wandered about desperate and confused, alone without a single living relative. My life had no meaning. I can’t remember who informed me about the lone youths who had formed a “kibbutz” in Kielce, living together and looked after by someone. Sure enough, I found in the “kibbutz” a home and family where everyone was in the same situation as myself. Although I hadn’t received a Zionist education, I did grow up in a religious household and knew a lot about the Land of Israel since my uncle (my mother’s brother) lived in Jerusalem and was a well-known yeshivah head.”
-For page listing all members of the group see this page.
Cover of book in Hebrew: "The Way to Freedom"