Monthly Archives: April 2012
Being the child of Holocaust survivors I have been exposed to the reality of what took place from the time of my earliest memories. Naturally my understanding of the events developed as I grew older, but from a young age the one thing I knew was that my parents went through something not everyone else’s parents went through. I never knew my grandparents. My mother’s mother passed away many years before the war, but her father and my father’s mother and father were all killed in Auschwitz.
As I grew up I went through this stage where I thought that my parents had a pretty easy go of it in the war. After all, they didn’t have numbers on their arms and my mother was never even arrested by the Nazis. How bad could it have been? That stage did not last long as I soon began to…
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The following is an email I received in reference to the book. Thank you Sid for the kind words and for allowing me to post this on the blog.
Just wanted to let you know that I read the book,and was thrilled by it.
My only regret is that I finished it so fast,I just could not put it down.
You did a masterful job in capturing the moments of terror,love,and great courage throughout the entire story.
May I say, that in Nardus Groen, I saw a man,who under those circumstances,we all wish we could emulate.
I looked up the word hero in the dictionary – There was a picture of your mother and father.
Thank you,for telling such a wonderful story.
It made me feel very sad, but it also made me feel very proud.
In 1948, three years removed from the end of Nazi terror and the murder of 6 million Jews, the State of Israel was born. Every year we remember the souls who lost their lives in defense of the Jewish state. But just as many days of sadness ended in 1945 with an eternal moment of celebration in 1948, so too every year we celebrate Israel’s independence the day after we remember those we lost. So for me, nothing signifies the strength of the Jewish people more than an Israeli flag at sunrise. For when the sun sets on the Jewish people and the world becomes dark, the sadness ultimately passes and the sun rises once again.
Happy Birthday Israel! Consider this my message to you on your Facebook wall.
The following is Part 1 of a 2 part interview I conducted with my mother, 90 year old Sipora Groen, discussing events that took place between 1940-1945.
In this post, for those who are not more directly connected, I am going to explain why things are as they are on this blog. For example, how does Yom Hazikaron, Day of Remembrance, a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the State of Israel, tie in to the book Jew Face. No post on this site is random. The origin of it all goes deeper than the book itself.
Jew Face, as the cover says, is a story of love and heroism in Nazi-occupied Holland. The love story between my parents and their heroic acts and behavior, Nardus and Sipora Groen is the main subject matter of the book and naturally will lead to many posts surrounding them and the life they lead. Expanding it further the book discusses the heroism of various people, Jewish and non-Jewish throughout the 5 years of occupation. Those active in the Dutch resistance will be discussed frequently and as in as much depth as possible with the main focus being on the righteousness of Lubertus and Geeske te Kiefte.
When you peel away another layer however the function of the blog goes much deeper and maybe requires explanation. Three years after the Jewish people experienced the devastating horrors of the Holocaust, the Jewish State of Israel was formed. Jews all over the world declared “Never Again” and have felt a sense of security knowing that there is a Jewish state willing to defend the lives of Jewish people all over the world regardless of their practical support for the nation. The mere existence of this state gives an added strength to that cry of “Never Again”, and every life that is lost in defense of this state is a life that was sacrificed to protect the Jewish people.
When writing a book like Jew Face, a book about what 2 people experienced, as a Jew myself it is impossible to ignore the deeper importance of the story. The origin is the history and future of the Jewish people together with a hopeful betterment of mankind. May God always bless those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Born from the ashes of the Holocaust in Europe, the Jewish nation of Israel declared its independence in 1948. Those who have died defending it or whose lives have been taken in acts of terror need to be remembered and honored by Jewish people all over the world, not just those living in Israel. Being that this blog revolves around a book that chronicles the lost souls at a time when there was no organized Jewish army, I feel nothing could be more appropriate than showing respect to those who lost their lives in the name of never allowing it to happen again. Although this is a video taken a few years back, the air raid siren is what happens all over Israel in honor of those who were lost.
In a previous post I showed the video
THE FOLLOWING IS A SMALL EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK JEW FACE. IT IS THE BOOK’S PROLOGUE
The date was Friday, August 13, 1943, and it felt like the worst moment
of Sipora’s young life. She knew that the Germans were in the building
and getting closer to finding her. She had already been through so much
and she knew that the situation was going to get a lot worse before it got
better. Her will to live was being taken over by despair. She was not the
type of woman who would ever do anything to speed up her own death,
but she also did not feel like running or fighting. So she decided that she
would just wait on the third floor and when the Nazi soldiers located her,
she would willingly leave with the rest of the patients and hospital staff . At
least then she felt…
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