Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sala's Gift

Just finished reading "Sala's Gift - My Mother's Holocaust Story" by Ann Kirshner.   The author really brought the characters to life, as well as the Jewish community of Bedzin-Sosnowicz.  I was especially interested since my dad and uncle had large families living in Bedzin & Sosnowiec, and I never learned who they were or what happened to them.   The book destails the history of the area, Eastern Upper Salesia - Zaglembie.  Auschwitz was near Sosnowiec & the final destination for most of Jewish population that perished.  Most of what I learned of my dad's family comes from his documentation from a visit to Bedzin as a small child and from Yad Vashem records.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Collaborators, Bystanders, & Heros - my TEDx Talk at College -unknown HERO -Vierzon Cheminot

In preparing to give my talk on Friday 4/26/2013, I have reflected on my parents' struggles and the people who helped them.  Rene Duschler's dad connected my dad to a "cheminot", a railroad worker who lived and worked in Vierzon. Vierzon at the time was one of the largest, busiest railroads in France which was strategically located on the border between Northern Nazi-occupied zone and Southern Free-zone. This cheminot was a complete stranger, yet he risked and gave his life smuggling desperate Jews onto freight cars headed South.  Unfortunately, he was captured and executed by the Germans and I never learned his name.  I have been searching for decades now.  Under the cover of darkness, under constant heavy German patrols: he alone lead my dad, my mom, my grandparents, my 2 aunts, and countless other Jews to safety.  He did this many times for just my family including some aborted attempts. If anyone knows who he was please let me know.  He should be honored by Yad Vashem.