A Light in the Clouds

Margalith and her older sister, Dorica, grow up in a warm, close-knit family in Bukovina, Romania. At a young age, the girls tragically lose their mother, and just as they are readjusting to a new family life, their childhood abruptly comes to a brutal end under Nazi occupation. In the fall of 1941, Margalith and her family are forced from their home and sent on a devastating deportation march to the unknown — Transnistria, an area of ghettos and camps ruled by Romania. The village of Murafa provides a bleak shelter for Margalith until help arrives unexpectedly before war’s end, and a journey to a new homeland provides both opportunity and heartache.

At a Glance
Romania; Transnistria
Death march
Postwar British Mandate Palestine; Israel; South Africa
Arrived in Canada in 1989

124 pages

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Margalith Esterhuizen

About the author

Margalith Esterhuizen was born in Rădăuți, Romania, in 1927. In early 1944, Margalith was released from Transnistria and sent to Kishinev (now Chișinău, Moldova) and Iași to live with foster families. In May 1945, she arrived in British Mandate Palestine (now Israel), where she attended college, worked and started a family. In 1954, Margalith and her husband, Bill, moved to South Africa, where he had grown up, to continue raising their family. Margalith worked in real estate, a field she continued in when she and Bill immigrated to Canada in 1989 to join their children. Margalith lives in Caledon, Ontario.

Dark, menacing, heavy rolling clouds gathered in the sky that fateful day in August 1941. It was as if even the heavens were sad and angry on the day we received orders for our evacuation.