Faced with the Nazi invasion of Poland, my grandparents made a heart-wrenching decision in 1943 to hand over my father to relative strangers in the hope that he might live. He was only six years old, suddenly parentless, and he faced physical danger day and night. His survival had been no sure bet. My grandparents must have understood that their end was coming and that my father’s life was the only slim hope of extension. Such risks, to me, were not only acts of protection, but also acts of defiance and survival—ways that Jews could passively continue on. I can imagine my grandparents thinking like Charlotte Salomon, “Keep this safe. It is my whole life.” Our births, our children, are a testament to our existence. We were there, in beauty and in struggle, and that is not something, no matter how many millions gone, can be denied.
Showing posts from July, 2011
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by Renate Stendhal, Ph.D., author of Gertrude Stein: In Words and Pictures. Walking through Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories , I noticed that the show is just like Gertrude Stein herself: sumptuous, good-humored, highly intelligent, brainy and eccentric, sophisticated and unpretentious all at the same time.