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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Trusting a stranger

Finding Feldman

How do you know that if you send money for someone to do research on your family history that they will actually do it? It was a scary thought when I sent money via Western Union to Poland a week ago. Grazyna came through! I feel so lucky that we found an incredible researcher/guide for our visit to Poland. Today I got a 12 page report about the Feldman/Adashek family. She included documents, photos, evidence of verbal family history, and information from an interview with the oldest Jewish person living in the town. Our goal is to find the family farm that my grandfather left when they immigrated to the United States.  I don’t know if we will find the exact location but we are getting closer.

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Poland, Uncategorized

 

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Hungary, Hungry, and The Hunger Games

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with Helen Handler. It was my first time listening to a holocaust survivor tell their story. I sat there in awe of her tale of survival.  How a 5th generation Hungarian Jew from a well-educated successful family finds herself alone at 15 in the Auschwitz camp. The word hunger crept up from “Hungarian” to hungry, to my st…omach growling, and then to the Hunger Games.  Thinking about the Nazi’s killing in gas chambers to kids killing kids for food for their districts.  Helen described how they would have “coffee” that wasn’t anything but warm for breakfast, a rotten vegetable soup (which if they were lucky would have a piece of potato in it the size of a pea) for lunch and slice of stale bread with butter for dinner.   I then look to the Hunger Games where Katniss and Rue were cooking up a dead squirrel or rat for dinner.  Helen said the Nazis told they shall eat rotten vegetable soup because they were rats.  Tonight, the discussion of freedom will be our topic.  How lucky we are to be safe in our homes and with our families.  How lucky we are to have food and peace at home.  With Passover around the corner, we can reflect on thousands of years of Jewish survival and renewal. In June when my mother and I go to Auschwitz, I will arrive with a different perspective.  I will think about how Helen arrived after standing for four days in a crowded cattle car only to be permanently separated from her family minutes later.  It is all pretty heavy but important to hear and never forget.
 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Poland, Poland and Lithuania

 

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