Twelve months after her concentration camp was liberated, Ann Spicer, newly married, was leaving Germany for good. It was May 21, 1946. Her husband’s little brother was the first to board the train in Stuttgart that would take the makeshift family to the first ship out of Hamburg headed toward America.

Philip, 13, flashed a grin as he climbed into the wooden car, on whose side someone had stuck a paper sign: “America, here we come.” Spicer’s husband snapped a photograph.

“We didn’t even know where we were going,” Spicer recalled recently. “We knew we were going to America. It was the first time I was on a ship, going to a land that I didn’t know anything about.”

Spicer’s experience is not unique among the more than 100,000 Holocaust survivors who immigrated to the United States after the war. But she has chosen to share her memories this year in a unique way — by contributing this photograph to a “Shoah Quilt” project put together by Mount Sinai Memorial Parks in honor of Yom HaShoah.

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