University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Lucy Smith

Lucy Smith is a Holocaust survivor. Like Anne Frank she was a hidden child. Unlike Anne Frank she lived to experience the stages of life following childhood and adolescence. Anne Frank could only imagine life which she was not allowed to live. For the readers of her diary she remains forever the sensitive and mature adolescent. It is difficult to realize that she would have been today an elderly woman-older than Lucy Smith.

The "Hidden" children of the Holocaust who survived it, did grow into adulthood but were still forced to keep their childhood memories hidden for fifty years. People didn't think that hidden children could truly remember the details of their childhood, and they were not interested in hidden children stories. Besides, compared to the stories of survivors of the death camps, those stories seemed to be less dramatic. Only recently an interest in their stories emerged-- probably out of the realization that those former children are approaching old age and soon will not be around to tell their stories.

Lucy Smith was born in Cracow, Poland. She had to leave school after one month of attendance because education was no longer allowed for Jewish children. After many other indignities she was put in the ghetto where she was hiding together with her mother from the Nazi's "actions". These were intensified periods of searches for Jews - mainly children and elderly, to deport them to death camps.

Lucy and her mother were lucky, they both survived. They changed their hiding places, they moved to different towns. 'They went through different aspects of hiding; the physical places of hiding, like attics, cellars, stores, bathrooms, and the psychological hiding; changed identities, pretending to be someone else, pretending to be Christian, while still holding to forbidden memories of former selves.

To a child of the Holocaust like Lucy, the seemingly "normal" daily life was full of fear and constant tensions, of the small daily miracles of survival of many dangers. To know, but not to tell, was the daily heroism of life that only the survival itself rewarded, because no one else ever noticed neither the heroism of it nor the heavy price in psychological energy that this way of life demanded.

Lucy Smith is available for presentations about: the life in hiding and for workshops: Teaching about the Holocaust.

To get in touch with Lucy Smith:

You can call: (651) 698-9671 or send  e-mail:
contact Center for Holocaust Study at  (612) 626-2236
contact: JCRC (Jewish Community  Relation Council) (612) 338-7816