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Bertha was the second born out of three daughters , born to Yiddish-speaking Jewish parents in a village in Czechoslovakia.
From 1933-39 , Bertha's parents sent her to a local elementary school, where most of her friends were Catholic.
At school Bertha spoke French and at home she spoke Yiddish. Sometimes her parents spoke Hungarian to each other, a language they had learned while growing up. Bertha's mother, who was religious, made sure that Bertha also studied Hebrew.
When Bertha was 11 the Germans occupied Liege. Two years later the Adlers, along with all the Jews, were ordered to register and Bertha and her sisters were forced out of school.
Some Catholic friends of her parents helped the Adlers obtain false papers and rented them a house in a nearby village.
Bertha's father fell sick one Friday and went to the hospital. Bertha promised to visit him on Sunday to bring him shaving cream. That Sunday, the family was awakened at 5 a.m. by the Gestapo. They had been discovered.
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