Hitler Was Their Matchmaker

A recent gathering in New Jersey honored marriages born out of loss.

Holocaust survivor Gina Lanceter was staying in an abandoned synagogue in Poland when she met her husband; she was 16. They married less than three weeks later in Lublin, with 10 people as witnesses as there was no rabbi. “A date was not like it is here. He said ‘I like you very much’. I said ‘I like you’. So he asked if I wanted to get married. I said okay. We were alone. We wanted someone. I wanted to have children.” (Gina has just had her first great-grandchild, the Fourth Generation.)

Toby Fluek met her husband, Max, at the hospital where her mother (the only other survivor in the family) was convalescing. Max was working as the kashrut supervisor and led the seder. “I was the youngest one so I opened the door for Elijah. He noticed me….He asked where I was going [when I left Germany]. I said to America. We kept company for three weeks and then he proposed. I didn’t know if he liked me or America. I decided to take a chance.”

Jean Gluck remembered, “There were 100 people at my wedding and I only knew one: my sister. I was shaking.”