Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Honoring My Family's Heroes of the Holocaust, Then and Now

Heroes who saved my family during Holocaust

  1. My dad, Jack Bienstock - It was his ego, so humiliated by having to wear the "Juif" star, he insisted on leaving Paris immediately, within days of the edict.   Timing was key, since the final solution -"la grande rafle - the big roundups", had begun June/ July 1942. My dad, left Paris just days before his 21st birthday on July 1, 1942. It was my dad who convinced the rest of the family to follow him to Ceyroux.  "Mon pere etait le hero de ma famille parce que c'etait lui qui dit les mots, l'address de Ceyroux."  Hear him tell his story on
  2. The cheminot from Vierzon - This hero lived and worked in Vierzon, one of the largest railroad stations, strategically located on the boundary between zones. He gave his life for the lives of desperate Jewish families. He smuggled my dad, my mom, my aunt, & countless others onto coal trains headed south to the Free zone, "la zone libre".  My dad did not know this hero's name & often referred to him as the "cheminot",  French for railroad worker. 
  3. French resistance fighter, Albert Mayne. He provided the house in Ceyroux Les Brisseau, where my parents and grandparents lived in hiding for two years. My dad did not know who owned the house he was renting. Mayne's daughter Bernadette, who I met at the Yad Vashem ceremony 12/4/2017, still lives there today.
  4. Parcelier and Simonnet families - farmers also members of the resistance.  Alice Meillassoux was a bicycle courier for the Maqui, the resistance of the woods. These families also provided an occupation on the farm and made Ceyroux-Les Brisseaux home for them for two years.
  5. Mayor Leon Daquet - provided my dad with a new Identity card to disguise his Jewish identity, changing his name from "Jacob Joseph" to Jacques and his occupation from printer to cultivateur, farmer.

Some heroes of today:

  • Nicki Haley - Ambassador to the UN - fights for Israel
  • Alan Dershowitz - speaks up against Anti-Israel hate groups
  • Ben Shapiro - outspoken journalist
  • Brigitte Gabriel - Lebanese author of "Because They Hate"
  • Ryan Bellerose- Native American who fights for the indigenous rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

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