“The thinking was that Hitler was a clown and the thinking people would not believe him and this would all go away.”
Susie Sherman was born Susanne Rindler on January 31, 1935 and spent her first few years in the small town near Karlsbad (now called Karlovy Vary), in Czechoslovakia. The Rindlers (her father’s family) and the Zenters (her mother's family) had lived in Czech lands since the 1700’s. Both her grandfathers served with distinction in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I.
In the Munich Agreement of 1938, leaders from Britain, France and Italy met in Munich and agreed that Hitler could annex the Western third of Czechoslovakia, which included Susie’s hometown of Karlsbad. By the end of 1938, the Nazis had seized her family’s businesses and homes.
After Nazi occupation, Susie’s father, and one uncle, anticipated that the worst was still to come. They quickly made arrangements to leave the country. They traveled from Karlsbad to Bardejov, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) back again through Prague, through German towns with the help of Quakers, on to Holland and finally England. Taken in by the Lord and Lady Cotesloe, the family stayed in England until they were able to immigrate to America in 1943 on one of the few civilian convoys permitted to cross the Atlantic. The rest of the family was deported to the camps of Terezin, Auschwitz, Treblinka or Maly Trostinec. All perished in these camps except one uncle, Karl Rindler. The uncle that had left with Susie’s father passed away in England.
Susie has done extensive research in order to trace the paths of her extended family members and to better understand their experiences and struggles during the Holocaust.
Video 1 – “Waiting It Out”
Video 2 – “Marbles”
Video 3 – “Living with the Lord and Lady”
Video 4 – “Terezin”
Czech family and friends in Seattle
English sailor gives Susie buttons
German Troops march into Czechoslovakia
Life in Terezin
Rindler Family in Karlsbad
Rindler Fink and Cotesloe
Susie's parent on their honeymoon
Uncle Karl leaves for America