Schama Priever lived in Paris, France with his wife, Dora, and their two children. He was involved in the fur trade and opened a large factory. He was also a talented musician who lived to play harmonica and piano for his family. His daughter, Rosette, fondly remembers her father playing music, “He would entertain us for hours, singing and playing, it was a lot of fun.”
When someone posed the question of possibly leaving France before the war, Schama refused. He believed that he needed to be in the country that he loved. He also believed that the family would be safe because he made coats for the German army. “They were about to fight at the Russian front and they needed those fur coats to keep them warm. He had no choice, of course, he had to do it,” Rosette recalls.
As conditions worsened, they sent their son into hiding. Their Christian neighbors had relatives in a free zone in southern France, so they sent their daughter to hide with them. This was a difficult decision for the family, but Schama knew their children would be safe.
Although Schama and his wife both perished at Auschwitz, they were able to save their children, Rosette and Bernard. Rosette volunteers her time with the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida to share her family’s story.