Wilma

'The ORT school in Hamburg was not just a school, but the center of Jewish life where the older people got together in the evenings and the young ones gathered during the day to learn trades; where the Jewish people were brought together for an Oneg Shabat; were social functions were held; and were everyone felt that he belonged’

Wilma was born in 1931 in Hamburg, Germany,

In 1943, when she was twelve years old and attending school, her mother was taken away to do forced labor and her father left for Bolivia. Wilma had to take all kinds of jobs, ranging from household work to selling in order to earn her living. All attempts on the part of mother and daughter to join the father in Bolivia were unsuccessful, so they remained in Germany through the war years.

In 1947, when ORT classes became available in Hamburg. Wilma's mother enrolled in a dressmaking class while teenage Wilma registered for the course in commercial art.

‘Our teacher at ORT was a well known Berlin illustrator who gave us practical instruction instead of empty theory. The ORT school in Hamburg was not just a school, but the centre of Jewish life where the older people got together in the evenings and the young ones gathered during the day to learn trades; where the Jewish people were brought together for an Oneg Shabat; were social functions were held; and were everyone felt that he belonged’- she recalled

Wilma and her mother came to New York in 1950. After arrival Wilma on the basis of her ORT diploma found a job as a silk screen designer continued her studies as a fashion designer. [1]

 [1]  Source: World ORT Archive: ORT Bulletin vol. III no.6 (February 1950) p.2