The love story for Max and Hanne Liebmann began in an unexpected place: a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
On Oct. 22, 1940, Max, Hanne and 6,500 other Jews were arrested and deported from their home in Germany to a concentration camp in Gurs, in southern France, WPIX-TV reported.
It was there that the couple first laid eyes upon each other, and the two found ways to survive until the end of the war. Max’s mother worked alongside Hanne in the office of the facility, and the two would run into each other during Max’s visits.
“There was a barrack at the end of the camp that was run by a Swiss nurse who gave us a little supplement of food every day and we’d walk there together,” Max said.
When asked what they would talk about during those walks, Max said, “Not much.”
“He’s not a talker,” Hanne said, knowingly.
After the war, the couple separated but kept in touch. They later reunited in Switzerland and married in Geneva in 1945.
Three years later, they moved to the U.S. Max said he somehow knew life would be better once he got to America.
Ever since, the two have only been separated one last time: when they both came down with tuberculosis and were forced into a sanatorium.
“And we lost actually two years,” Hanne said.
One thing’s for sure: the Liebmann’s marriage is “bashert,” or Yiddish for “meant to be.”