Claire Fund recounts how her Jewish parents survived World War II. Her father Charles Fund and his sister Esther were born in Yeremsha, Poland, in the early 1900s. Charles trained as an engineer in France, joined a branch of the French Army, and ended up in Glasgow, Scotland. There he met his wife, Aurelia Frenkel of Vienna, who had escaped Austria on foot in 1939. Esther, a dentist who had returned home to practice, hid in a farmers barn for more than a year to evade the Germans. Once it was safe for her to come out of hiding, she joined the Free Czechoslovakian Army, where she met her husband, Miroslav Kerner.
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Claire Fund recalls how her Jewish parents and their siblings survived World War II. Her father, Charles Fund, and his sister Esther were born in Yeremsha, a small Polish town, in the first decade of the twentieth century. Charles and Esthers memories of childhood, as recounted by Claire, convey an environment of anti-Semitism in which they were careful not to make waves. Charles earned a degree in engineering from a university in France, where he stayed after graduation, aware that conditions at home were becoming increasingly hostile to Jews. He never saw his parents again. At the beginning of World War II, he joined a branch of the French Army composed of foreigners. Charles ended up in Glasgow, Scotland, where he built ship radios for the remainder of the war. During this time, he met his wife, Aurelia Frenkel of Vienna. After one failed attempt, she had escaped Austria early in 1939 by crossing on foot into Switzerland. From there she traveled to Scotland, where she and her sister spent the remainder of the war. Aurelias brother and parents also made it out of Austria and ultimately reunited in Canada. Charless sister, Esther, had attended medical school in Prague and, after graduation, began practicing dentistry there. In the late 1930s, she returned to her hometown to practice and provide for her parents. As the Germans began rounding up Jews in the surrounding towns, Esther heeded a warning to save herself. She evaded the Germans by hiding in a farmers barn. At great risk to his family, for more than a year the farmer secretly delivered food and water to Esther. Once it was safe for her to come out of hiding, she joined the Free Czechoslovakian Army. Her future husband, Miroslav Kerner, was born and raised in Czechoslovakia and attended law school in Prague. His political activism made it dangerous for him to stay at home, so he left his sisters and first wife behind and traveled to England where he too, joined the Free Czechoslovakian Army. His wife perished in the Holocaust. After the war, Miroslav and Esther married and returned to Czechoslovakia, but left in the late 1940s when the Communists came into power. They immigrated to Boston where Esther had been accepted to dental school. By 1960, she had established her own practice in a suburb of Boston. She kept in touch with the farmer who saved her life and sent him gifts and money. Several of his family members visited Esther and Miroslav, and one of his daughters and her family came to live in the Kerner house. The farmers daughter took care of the aging Kerners, who were childless, and inherited their home upon Esthers death.