Friday, July 7, 2017

Stephane: Another lost cousin finds me

Yesterday I got an unexpected email inquiry from Stephane of Paris.  He described his grandfather Wilhelm Gehlkopf from Elberfeld. His great grandfather Abel had a brother Schelemen and  a sister Maryjem.  Maryjem is my great grandmother: my mothers paternal grandfather Kiva was married to Maryjem Gielkop.  I knew immediately from what Stephane shared in his email that we were related. I confirmed the relationship. It was Stephan's 2nd week researching his tree.  I 've been searching for decades!  He found me through an email I sent his grandfather more than a year ago, 2/2016.

I made the first connection to my mom's Gehlkopf cousins in 2011. Thankfully my mom was still alive to discover I found the Gelkop cousin she was searching for since she left France in 1950's.

Today I met Stephane and his wife Valerie via Video chat through Facebook.  I am hoping to add him as a Facebook friend so I can introduce him to the other Gehlkopf family and share photos

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My 1st Yom HaShoah Speech at local high school

Last April,  I launched the Speaker's Bureau  at BCC's Center for Peace, Justice, Reconciliation.  My main motivation was to give a voice to the 2nd & 3rd generation of genocide survivors as the original survivors age and dwindle.  Only descendants of survivors can tell the stories with the same passion as their elders, having lived it through their parents/ grandparents. Telling survivor stories captivates the students' attention. A lecture given by a professor will not share the same energy.

Although I have spoken to students at BCC a couple times,  this year was the first time we had an outside request from a local high school. I had the honor of presenting for Yom HaShoah  (4/24/2017) at Passaic County Tech for ~50 students.   During my 90-minute presentation, I showed my mom's video testimonial about her escape from Germany and also told stories from my dad, and uncle;   about their survival, from Paris to Ceyroux.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anti-Israel Propaganda prevents Peace

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King.

To read some useful articles on Israel & the Palestinians:
These sites describe the myths & lies propagated by Pro-Palestinian / Anti-Israel hate groups such as SJP, BDS, & JVP.
SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine, their motto is From the river to the sea Palestine will be free - their goal is the same as that of the Nazis during the Holocaust, a land that is Judenfree -free of Jews.   BDS, Boycott, Divest, Sanctions, it promotes the boycott of Israeli goods. This was a Nazi tactic, Jewish business were boycotted during the Shoah!
To understand Palestinian PROPAGANDA Warfare, we need to expose their deceitful Language: 
PALESTINE - There is no such country.  Palestine was the name for the land of Israel prior to 1948 British Mandate of Palestine.   The mandate divided the land between Israel & Jordan, 2 states, with Jordan getting 77%.  
Original flag of Palestine 1939 (re. ) :

The current Arab Palestinian flag is nearly identical to Jordan's flag.  Can you tell the difference?
Arab Palestinians use the terms  "occupation" & "settlers" to describe the Jews of Israel /Palestine.  The truth is that Israel is the Jewish birthright and Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel.   There is scientific evidence to back this up: DNA and archeological artifacts.   Arab Palestinians have even accused Israel of Apartheid.  This is so absurd, since Israel is the only Democracy in the Middle East. Arabs citizens of Israel have full rights.   

When Israel became a state in 1948
700,00 Arabs living in Israel were instructed by their Arab leadership to flee, since the Arab states were planning a military attack.  These Arabs were told by their leaders that they would have the "right of return" after Israel was destroyed.   At the same time 800,000 Jews living in Arab countries were forced to flee as their homes & property was forcefully confiscated.  Those Jewish refugees  became Israeli citizens.  The Arabs who chose to leave Israel became refugees and are still living as refugees to this day! 

Here is a NEW Term:
PALLYWOOD - a term for the orchestrated Palestinian-Hamas propaganda theatrical campaign by the Arab media.  Here is an example
To learn more, watch some of the PRAGER University education videos on YouTube.  

Here is a sample:

You could also read the book by Brigitte Gabriel, "Because They Hate", or listen to Alan Dershowitz, author of "The Case for Israel".


Thursday, March 9, 2017

my Facebook for Genealogy workshop -past, present, future - IAJGS '17

My proposal to present Facebook for Genealogy was accepted, again. This time I will be presenting at the International Assoc for Jewish Genealogy in July.  I have presented this workshop several times before, for Bergen Community, NJEdge, and my local genealogy group. In searching for materials to reuse I found a video online of my first 45-minute session for NJEdge 2013.
This clip describes how finding a single document from USHMMM helped me discover a key missing piece of my family tree.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Delivering my Speech in French - a feat for sore ears

Luce Petitjean sent me the DVD of the ceremony. Luce, who works in the mayor's office in Ceyroux, was instrumental in the planning of the event in the Ceyroux town hall on 12/4.   In the midst of all the chaos on that day, with all the last-minute details as people were arriving, within minutes of the ceremony starting,.... she took the time to help me translate my speech. This was especially difficult since some of my English phrases were complicated and did not translate well into French. 

For example I planned to say "the story of Ceyroux was ingrained in my brain". I don't think the French use that expression. Some of what I was trying to express, was confusing to Luce, to understand what I meant.  My sentences were a disordered mess. There was no elegant 1-for-1 translation.  The last-minute nature of this exasperated both of us. Luce was in a hurried state, putting out the champagne, posting the photos on display,,... etc...  While I was panicked because my yet-to-be-translated speech was locked in the office.   The only calm one was the Scottish Simonnet son who was also helping us.

The French words and phrases I was comfortable with & could easily pronounce were sometimes traded for a more proper version.  I was prepared to say "my dad told me the story of Ceyroux" as "mon pere m'a dit....". Luce changed this familiar, easy to pronounce phrase to "mon pere m'a parler".  Were those extra syllables really necessary? LOL. I do not know the subtleties of the language.  What was the difference between "dad told me" vs. "dad talked to me". 

In the end, I did not have time to practice using these French phrases. So it was clumsy and my accent was painful to listen to.  I should have apologized to the audience.  Luckily, Luce & Mr. Benguigui were at my side to help when I got stuck midway.

The DVD allowed me to replay the ceremony.  I played a portion of my speech for my family. When my son heard it he agreed it was really bad,....  & he heard the good part.    Although I regret not being better prepared, I did say most of what I intended. I thanked the families: the Simonnet, Parcelier, & Daquet families. I thanked my niece Danielle for making the visit 5 years ago which  facilitated the submission process with Yad Vashem.  I was grateful to Yad Vashem for recognizing Ceyroux and the role they played.   I regret not mentioning the person who especially helped me with my speech. I hope Luce will forgive me.

From this 1-hour DVD, I can extract key speeches. So far I have created a version with just Monique's speech. Next, I will separate mine, Luce's, & Mayor Daquet's.  I hope to upload to my YouTube channel & put CC (Closed Captions) in English & French.  Is there an APP to translate audio from a DVD into text?   Google? SIRI? anyone?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Righteous Medal Ceremony - Yad Vashem

I was thrilled and honored to represent my family at this special ceremony in Ceyroux on 12/4/2016.
Yad Vashem honors righteous gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews during the Shoah.

My father always talked about the good people of Ceyroux.  The story of Ceyroux was imprinted upon my brain from a young age as a special place of refuge.

My dad was a hero for fleeing Paris in June 1942, at the beginning of "La Grand Rafle", and for saving our family by leading them to Ceyroux.  My dad described how the kindness of strangers restored his faith in humanity. I am grateful to my niece Danielle for making the trip to Ceyroux 6 years ago in 2010, with my nephew Carl. Their visit facilitated the process of submitting the names of the righteous with Yad Vashem.  I am thankful to Mayor Daquet and the Simonnet and Parcelier families for protecting my family, giving them a new life in hiding on the farm for 2 years during the Shoah. Now, we are not strangers, we share a special bond, like family.

At the ceremony I met members of the families from Ceyroux,  many, many generations of  descendants. It was interesting to me the various levels present: There were 3 people who were original - alive during those 2 years:
  • Madame Alice Meillassoux, Leontine's niece.  She knew my parents.
  • Mr. Simonnet 
  • Daniel Daquet, son of Mayor Leon Daquet, although he was too young in 1942 to remember my parents
  • Henri Gaujal who was 10 when my grandfather made him a suit for his communion. He remembered seeing my dad hiding in the woods. He kept it a secret until my niece & nephew visited 6 years ago.
I met the daughter of Mr. Merigot, Vieilleville pharmacist who was also the coach of my dad's Sunday soccer team.  He warned my dad when he saw buses coming to collect Jews in Ceyroux.  I met Bernadette, granddaughter of Mr. Albert Mayne who was active in the Maqui. I learned that Mr. Mayne was the owner of the house that hid 8 members of my family in 3 small rooms.  He also warned my dad when my dad got called into Gueret. Bernadette still lives in that very same house.

my dad's 2 identity cards:
on the left from Ceyroux issued by Mayor Daquet, without the Juif stamp,
the one from Paris on the right with the Juif stamp in red

Bernadette of Mayne family
Daughter of Coach Merigot, the little girl in the Team photo

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Yad Vashem Medal Ceremony - Righteous honor granted to Daquet, Simonet, & Parcelier families- Ceyroux 12/4/16

In 2010 my niece Danielle made the visit to Ceyroux, France to meet the people who saved our family.
On Sunday December 4, 2016, MEDALs of Righteous Among the Nations  were awarded to Daquet, Simonnet & Parcelier families.  Dignitaries & recipients gave speeches to a packed town hall...    I gave a speech as representative of our family that was saved by these good people from 1942-1944. 8 family members survived in this remote farm village thanks to people who risked their lives to save us.

Mayor Leon Daquet provided my dad with a new ID that concealed his Jewish identity, changing his name from Jacob Joseph to Jacques, occupation from printer to farmer "cultivateur", and no more "Juif" stamp.

Read Article in 12/3/16 Saturday Paper: 

Monique Resche accepting the medal for the Parcelier family
I saw the house & barn that hid my parents, grandparents, and aunts for 2 years, in 3 small rooms. There was no running water or toilets.  The original well was still there although no longer operational. The house was owned by Monsieur Albert Mayne, a MAQUI (resistance fighter).

My dad described how he arrived in Ceyroux unannounced in June 1942 & told Leontine Parcelier that he was Jewish & needed a place of refuge. She welcomed him with open arms, "avec bras ouvert".

Madame Monique Resche said although what her family did was extraordinary, they did was was natural. Her mom was a bicycle message courier for the MAQUIs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Upcoming Visit to Ceyroux to retrace journey of July 1942 for Yad Vashem ceremony

On December 4, 2016, I will be visiting Ceyroux  for a Yad Vashem ceremony to present the Righteous medal of honor to the Daquet, Simonet & Parcelier descendents for their role in my parents life in hiding. They provided my parents & their families with a place to live, new identities and work as farmers.  I look forward to retracing my dad's journey from Paris through Vierzon to Chateauxroux, to Ceyroux.  When my parents arrived there in July 1942 Ceyroux was in the Free zone "zone libre".  After 6 months, France was completely consumed by the German Nazi occupation.  Ceyroux was subject to intrusive searches which forced my parents to hide in the woods and barn.

Ceyroux's mayor Leon Daquet, the Simonnet and Parcelier families, and the people of Ceyroux all played a part in my parents survival.  Mayer Daquet provided my dad with a new identity card, "carte d'identite", changing his name from the revealing Jacob Joseph to a neutral Jacques. His occupation changed from printer to cultivateur (farmer), and no more Juif stamp.