Meet the Cast and Crew, #2: Sharon Shaffer

In this series of posts, we’ll get to know the people in this production and their many connections with and feelings about participating.


My mother Helen Fruchter (of blessed memory) was a survivor of the Holocaust. Born in Belgium, she suffered at the hands of the Nazis and was a hidden child. All her cousins survived the war, as they were hidden and then transported on the Kindertransport to England and Switzerland, but sadly, many of the adult family members did not survive.

My mother, being so young was unable to get out in time, so she spent the entire war being shuffled from hiding place to hiding place, each one more terrible than the last. She suffered many abuses and the physical and psychological torture were immeasurable.

She finally ended up in a work camp but escaped and was rescued by Père Bruno, a righteous catholic priest who arranged for her to get false papers. He put her on a train to a displaced persons camp in Switzerland. After the war, the Red Cross reunited her with her sister, who had spent the war in England, and then they both made the journey by boat to America, where their parents were waiting.

Being a Jew, I believe we all feel that the story of the Holocaust cannot be forgotten, so we tell the stories of our people. They are important to tell, and being an artist, I feel using the arts is a particularly poignant way of conveying these stories.