Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

'You didn't know that I jumped off the train?' - Holocaust survivors in emotional reunion after 76 years

Alice Gerstel bid an emotional farewell to her close friend "Little" Simon Gronowski in October 1941.

Gerstel and her family had hidden in the Gronowskis' home in Brussels for nearly two weeks during the Second World War.

Then her father sent word from France that he had reached a deal with a smuggler who would get her, her siblings and their mother safely out of Nazi-occupied Belgium.

However, the Gronowskis decided to stay and hid for another 18 months until the Nazis captured them and sent them on a death train to Auschwitz.

Alice thought she had lost Simon forever. Credit: AP

For years Gerstel thought he was among the millions of victims of the Holocaust until she learned, seven decades later, she would see him again.

"You didn't know that I jumped off the train?" Simon, now 86 years-old, told Alice.

"No, no. I didn't know anything," the 89-year-old replied.

After the war, Simon eventually moved back to the apartment where he grew up. He is now a lawyer in Brussels.

Alice’s family immigrated to the United States, where she married, had two sons and eventually settled in Los Angeles and had a career in property.