Shoshana Aufrecht Landoy: To the Man who Saved my Life

Suzanne-Shoshana Cohen was born in 1926 in Haifa.  Her parents Willy-Menachem and Mariana Cohen immigrated to Germany due to financial difficulties, and separated.  Mariana remarried, and Shoshana took on her stepfather's family name, Aufrecht.  In 1938, the Aufrecht family moved to Paris.

In June 1940, Paris was occupied by Nazi Germany.  Mariana and her husband, who had Swiss citizenship, left for Switzerland in 1942, but were forced to leave Shoshana behind in Paris, as she had no official citizenship.  She was sent to Drancy, where she met a lawyer acquaintance who worked tirelessly to prevent her deportation to the camps in the East. As a result of his efforts on her behalf, after some three months at Drancy, Shoshana was officially recognized as a refugee and sent to Switzerland where she was reunited with her mother.

Shoshana studied art in Switzerland in the years 1946-49.  As her father was a US citizen, she was able to move to the United States.  In 1959 she completed her art studies at the University of Kansas City, and graduated from the Rhode Island Art College in 1961.

In 1962, Shoshana immigrated to Israel and studied at teachers' college.  She married Chaim Isaac Landoy (Landau) in Jerusalem in 1967.  Landoy had immigrated to Eretz Israel (Mandatory Palestine) from Lithuania with his parents and three siblings in the 1920s, and the family settled in Tel Aviv.  Shoshana taught art at a high school in Yehud (today, Yehud-Monosson) for many years, and was renowned for her talents as a stage designer at school events.  The Landoys did not have any children.

Shoshana passed away in 1981. The same year, her husband Chaim Isaac donated three of her artworks to Yad Vashem in her memory, two of which are featured in this exhibition. One of the pieces is dedicated to the man who saved her life in the camp.  His name remains unknown to this day.

In 2019, Shoshana's niece and nephew donated Shoshana and Chaim's wedding photograph to Yad Vashem.