Holocaust survivor Regine Archer shares her memories from World War II

Local News

Honesty, its something we like to live by. But 94-year-old Regine Archer once had to lie to live.

“It was just horrendous. Just like my experience marked me, pretty much for life, cause you don’t forget those things, it marked those guys who went too,” said Archer.

She was 15-years-old when the sounds of airplanes and gunshots outside her home in Belgium became the norm.

And as a Jew in the 1940’s things would soon go from bad to worse for her family.

“Of course any sign of resistance you were put to the wall and shot,” said Archer.

Regine says it started with a curfew, then she wasn’t allowed to go to school, and then she was forced to wear the yellow star marking her a Jew.

Once the Germans started exterminating people, Regine’s family knew they needed to leave.

A neighbor secured Regine and her sister a place at a Catholic private school and her parents in a summer home tucked away in the country.

All living a lie to stay alive.

“So my sister and I, with false names, we’re 16 and 17 – and we have to keep our cool while these German officers are staring at us,” said Archer. 

The Mother Superior often checking on the pair.

“She her assistant and the priest were the only ones who knew who we were,” said Archer. 

In 1944, the Mother Superior helped Regine get a job as a secretary for a young lawyer.

Soon the Americans landed and Regine hopped on her bike. It was a 7-hour ride to get to her parents.
She says she counted 700 planes flying overhead.

“Suddenly there came a Jeep that had a German officer strapped spread eagle on the hood, and we said ah it’s the Americans,” said Archer. 

And it was an American, a Virginia Tech graduate, that would sweep her off her feet and bring her to the states.

“And that’s the end of that story,” said Archer. 

Her story, a true story she continues to share.

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