How do I sum up an incredible trip in which my family and I were presented with the violin of our lost uncle ( https://www.timesofisrael.com/ ) better than saying thank you to everyone around me that helped make it the trip of a lifetime. So here it goes.
Eli Baran, for not only giving me a place to stay in London but for being a great friend for over 40 years.
Thank you to David, Giel and all the crew of the production company filming the documentary for helping to make this feel like even a bigger deal and for making me feel like a celebrity from the moment I got off the plane in Amsterdam.
Thank you to my cousins Eli, Aanya and Bettie for making this part of your life for a few very special days, and an additional special thank you to Eli and Aanya for their hospitality.
Thank you to Bar, the young Jewish man who gave a special private tour and review of documents from the Spanish Portuguese Syanagogue to me and my sister and her kids.
Thank you to Els, the woman who, 5 minutes after I met her, showed me around the last neighborhood my mother worked in before fleeing Amsterdam.
Thank you to Rabbi Amiel and Susan Novoseller for coming from Philadelphia just to be at the ceremony. You are true friends.
Thank you to the magic 12 representing the te Kieftes. A special thank you to Harm Kuiper for his help in the process.
Thank you to Nico de Haan, an unsung hero in the entire process.
Thank you to my nephew Jackson for being the artwork hero.
Thank you to Nina Staretz of the Israeli Embassy, David Simon of Friends of Yad Vashem in Holland and Peggy Frankston of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC for not only attending but for sharing their beautiful and meaningful thoughts.
Thank you to Huize Frankendael for hosting a tremendous event in a professional and friendly manner.
Thank you to various friends and family who came from far and wide to witness this special occasion.
Thank you to Jennifer, Ami, Matan, Becca, Jack and Josh for representing the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Mom and Dad, their Oma and Opa (and Uber Opa).
Jantien van de Berg and her family for opening up the home where my mother and Bram grew up to me and my family.
Thank you to all my siblings, blood or otherwise for being on the same page from day one. I’m proud to be the brother of such good people.
Thank you Wim de Haan. Of all the things you did to make this happen and all you accomplished, I think the one thing that exceeded everything else and what you may be happiest about is that you would have made your father proud. Your decency and character is not only a tribute to you but a tribute to where you come from.
Thank you Oom Bram. To relate to this thank you may need to believe in souls and the power they have, potentially forever. Thank you Oom Bram for being a presence that stayed in our lives even before something so tangible presented itself, and thank you for having such character that your short life ultimately presented an opportunity to see the best that life has to offer.
Thank you Mom…..Just thank you.
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