Abe and Esther Schuster grew up children of Holocaust survivors. Their father, Judel, lost his parents and sister in the Sarny ghetto. Pauline, their mother, lost her entire family — they were murdered during the Nazi occupation of Uman, then part of the Soviet Union.

Pauline and Judel met in Stalingrad and married there in 1945, shortly before they entered a displaced persons camp in Italy. Four years later, they left Europe and arrived by boat in New York to begin a new life.


At StoryCorps, Abe and Esther sat down to remember their parents’ philosophy of life. And as Abe’s high school math teacher would learn, that didn’t always mean following the rules.

Top photo: Pauline and Judel Schuster on their wedding day in Stalingrad, April 1945. Courtesy of Esther and Abe Schuster.
Middle photo: Abe and Esther Schuster for StoryCorps in Birmingham, AL in February 2019. Photo by Jacqueline Van Meter.

Originally aired May 3, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.