Holocaust Book Documents Story of Couple Separated During WWII and Reunited After 7 Years

August 2, 2022

The December 2020 book “Separated Together: The Incredible True WWII Story of Soulmates Stranded an Ocean Apart” chronicles an amazing story of a married couple who were separated from each other for seven years during World War II before finally being reunited.

The book, written by Kenneth P. Price, a Dallas-based psychologist, tells the story of Price’s wife Gloria’s parents, Abe and Sonia Huberman. Abe and Sonia’s romance began like a fairy tale; Abe, a shoe manufacturer in Poland who was a rags-to-riches success story, first met Sonia through Sonia’s sister, Hania, with whom Abe was friends. Abe described first meeting Sonia as if an “electric shock” went through his body. Together, the couple lived a happy, carefree life in Poland with their children until the war came, and then the fairytale suddenly turned into a nightmare.

Toward the end of July 1939, Abe was persuaded by his cousin to visit the New York World’s Fair to do business and visit Sonia’s father. Abe assured Sonia that he would only be gone for seven weeks and would return to Poland on September 13 that year; little did they know that the Nazis would invade Poland a couple weeks before Abe’s planned return. Price recalls Abe telling him that at the time he had no reason to believe war would break out because he didn’t pay attention to politics and simply trusted that their leaders would do their jobs. And thus the long separation began.

The book delves into the horrors that Sonia and the children experienced under Nazi-occupied Poland, from barely escaping the Warsaw Ghetto only to find themselves deported to the Majdanek death camp, where Abe and Sonia’s children were murdered in the gas chambers. Sonia’s younger sister, Rachelle, urged a heartbroken and guilt-ridden Sonia to continue to fight for her survival, assuring her that one day she would be reunited with Abe. And so that hope kept Sonia going.

Rachelle also saved Sonia’s life when they were later imprisoned in Auschwitz. One day in the death camp, Sonia was among those who were scheduled to be sent to the gas chambers after she fell ill. In her determination to help her older sister, Rachelle found a woman named Anna who engaged in sexual relations with one the Nazi guards and used that to persuade her “German protector” to save prisoners from Nazi execution. After the camp was liberated, Anna and Sonia found each other, and Anna told Sonia that when Rachelle was begging for Anna to save Sonia’s life, she was literally crying blood, thus convincing Anna that she had to do whatever she could to save her. And consequently, Anna was able to persuade her “German protector” to remove Sonia from the list of prisoners that were going to be executed in the gas chambers that day.

In America, Abe had to start his business over from scratch, but like in Poland, he found his footing as he waited day-in and day-out for the war to end and for any letter indicating that Sonia and his children were still alive. He never stopped believing. After seven agonizing years, he and Sonia were finally reunited and they started a new life together in America. Price wrote in the book that despite the horrors they endured, Abe and Sonia were never “cynical and angry” and instead lived the rest of their lives as happy people.

Price spent six years writing his book, compiled with exhaustive research based on various letters Abe and Sonia wrote to each other, diary entries, video interviews, and his own recollections of the stories he had heard from Abe, Sonia and Gloria over the years. Price also does an excellent job succinctly summarizing the Holocaust, what led up to it and the aftermath of the war; in so doing, Price immortalizes an important piece of family history for the world to see. No wonder the book received high praise from Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Brandeis Center Holocaust Studies Professor Emeritus Dr. Antony Polonsky.

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