"Anyone can go to the Holocaust museum [in Washington DC] but not everyone gets this experience." ~A. Speitel (student, 17)
You can easily download and print Charles' biography here (pdf)
Charles Rojer was born in Brussels Belgium in 1934. His father was a successful leather goods maker and his mother took care of the children. They lived in a neighborhood with Catholic neighbors.
In May 1940, the German army invaded Belgium and the family fled to France by train but was stopped by German troops who seized the train and marched the passengers to Fortel, France. They then found transport back to their home in Belgium and tried to resume a normal life.
Charles and his two older sisters, Cecile and Anny returned to school, which was located approximately three blocks from home behind the local Catholic Church. Conditions were deteriorating quickly though. Food was scarce at home so the Belgium government tried to provide some extra food at school, including a vitamin supplement and bar of chocolate for each student. Additionally laws were passed that restricted his father’s business and then everyone was forced to wear the yellow Star of David.
With the threat of capture looming, his parents found him a safe hiding place with the help of the Belgian Resistance. Unfortunately his parents were captured and deported to Auschwitz. The Belgian Resistance then helped hide his two sisters. Over the next four years Charles was hidden in a variety of safe houses provided by the Belgian resistance.
In December 1944 Charles was liberated by the American army near Stavelot, Belgium. With the help of his Uncle who moved to American in January 1947, Charles moved to the Philadelphia area in the summer of 1948.
Charles eventually graduated from Central High School, then Temple University and Hanemann Medical School, eventually becoming Ear, Nose, and Throat and Head and Neck Surgeon. He is retired and has three children and nine grand-children, his personal victory over Hitler.