It's hard to imagine walking away from your dying father. One brave lady did just that in a crucial moment in her life. How he reacted to it, however, was very surprising.
Being a Jewish immigrant in Belgium during World War II was rough for Chaskel Prowisor. When it came to finding work, it was a severe problem. While he was constantly finding himself in trouble, he found comfort in his family. His oldest daughter Claire was determined to become an anchor for him.
At the age of 15, Claire was busy working various jobs. In order to give her dad the same opportunity, she contacted Queen Élisabeth. In a few weeks, Chaskel was given a work permit to help contribute to his family.
During the roughest time in her country's history, she found her own comfort.
Claire met a young man named Philippe Szyper while trying to hide from Nazis. In a situation that extreme, a love interest wasn't on her mind. Through their shared interests, however, the two quickly became inseparable. After dating for a short time, they decided to get married in 1942.
During this time, Chaskel was finding it nearly impossible to hide from Nazis. The inevitable happened while taking a walk down the street. The secret police secretly tracked his every move and struck at the right time. Chaskel was hauled off to Mechelen.
Unfortunately, his daughter was next on their list.
While in hiding, Philippe and Claire decided to bring in a random stranger as a guest. They assumed this person was looking to join their fight. It turned out their new friend was secretly paid handsomely to discover their hideout. Days later, Nazis came barging into their area and captured both of them.
Claire was reunited with her father and husband in Chaskel, but their situation was dire. They were slated to be sent to Auschwitz to meet their fate. Before arriving in a cattle car, Chaskel became deathly ill.
Philippe had a tricky plan to get out of the situation. Unfortunately, it meant leaving someone behind.
Philippe knew the only way out would be to jump from the train. While Claire was on board with the plan, it meant her sick father wouldn't come with her. Struggling with this decision, she decided to take the leap. While they were separated for a moment, the couple found each other near a church.
Claire continuously played that fateful moment in her head for years. Leaving her father behind was one of the hardest things she ever had to accomplish. In 1962, Claire and Philippe paid Israel a visit when a mysterious woman greeted them. "I’ve been searching for you for many years," she told Claire.
What Claire learned next was a complete shock.
This mystery woman was with Claire's father in the cattle car. When he found out she escaped from the car, Chaskel was relieved. He wished to tell Claire that he was the happiest father in the world because of her actions. Fortunately, this woman was able to relay that exact message to his daughter.
Perhaps fortunately for him, Claire's father passed away from his illness before arriving in Auschwitz. For Claire, being able to get that message was all the closure she needed. Claire and Philippe still cherish each other to this day. Wherever she goes, Claire will always discuss those trials and tribulations that helped build her.