After the sisters lived in a stranger’s home in another village for a short time, a neighbour, a member of the Hitler Youth, threatened to betray their cover. A member of the Jewish Resistance then placed them in the Rotterdam home of a 28-year-old childless woman, where they stayed for three and a half years. The sisters had to hide during the day while non-Jewish children attended school. The children’s beloved caretaker, Tanta Nel, taught them to read and write, and encouraged them to write letters to their parents despite not knowing their whereabouts.
In 1945, after the German armed forces surrendered, the sisters heard a terrifying knock at the door. Claire saw two people she didn’t immediately recognize. They were her parents. Claire’s family moved to Canada, which Claire calls “the land of our liberators,” arriving in Halifax by boat on March 15, 1951. Claire met her husband, Seymour Baum, in Toronto and has been married for more than 50 years. She worked full time for 25 years, alongside her husband, to build a successful company, Armstrong-Baum Plumbing and Heating Co.