My grandmother, Dita Schwarz, believed, “Everything is written and is meant to be.” My grandfather, Max Schwarz believed, "W hen you’re in trouble you get strong; you do things you never think you can do. You have to help people; and no one is better than anyone else." Despite being forced from their homes, losing their family members, and suffering the devastation of the Holocaust, my grandparents lived their lives with hope. Here are their stories: In March 2009 when I visited my grandparents (they lived nearby, and I saw them routinely), I sat for some time with my grandmother, who, for the first time in my life told me her story of the Holocaust. I learned that my roots in San Francisco stretch further back than I realized, and go back to my great great grandfather Hammerslag, who was born in San Francisco before he moved to England, met my great great grandmother and eventually settled down in Vienna, Austria.