Chase, Jean

Jean Chase is a survivor from Trembovla, Poland, a small village near Tarnopol.  Born in 1933, Jean was the only child of Chuna and Nechama Goldstein.  When the Nazis came, the family was relocated to the Tarnopol ghetto, and though she was very young Jean remembered many key moments from this period.  She recalled the aktions of the SS, as the population of the ghetto was steadily liquidated, and that her father, a local tailor, was spared at first.  When her parents were ultimately taken away, Jean bravely and miraculously escaped to the forests surrounding the town, beginning a pattern that she would repeat multiple times.  Upon learning of her parents’ murder, Jean found herself orphaned and depending on the locals who began to shelter her in a rotating pattern.  She even remembered staying at the home of a Ukrainian policeman who told her that he had murdered her mother.  Jean made the decision to go another local village, Krovynka, where she connected with her friend Sylvia and members of her family who had escaped.  She spent some months there, almost discovered by the Germans while hiding in a hole; it was a period where she recalls that she was like a wild animal.  With the end of the war, another period began, one which Jean remembers as even worse in many ways – she was without family, and with nowhere to go.  She made her way to Kutno, staying in Poland and resuming school, but Poland offered her nothing, and she made her way to Israel with many other orphans.  While she met her husband there, Jean was not happy there either, and when family connections emerged in the United States, she was able to secure passage to Canada.  She raised her family there, and recovered her emotional health.  Jean was interviewed in August 2016, when Scott Masters and Savannah Yutman visited her in her home.