Tag Archives: heroism

How it all connects

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.

The Life That Was Not Lived

The following  piece written by my father of blessed memory is the Foreword for the book “Jew Face: A story of love and heroism in Nazi-occupied Holland.” It is extremely appropriate for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

by Rabbi Nardus Groen, of blessed memory

The life that was not lived:

This is the story of two people whose experiences cannot be seen as
separated from one another. At the same time, it includes a multitude of people
whose story will never be told. We therefore consider it a privilege as well as a
duty to share with you some of the 4,380 days of our being on this earth.
Existence is more or less a state of exposure. Life, on the other hand,
is a matter of faith. If there was such a thing, my choice would be for
something in between. Some attributes may be applied to it, and others
may not fit the shoe.

We may in the course of it meet people who, for whatever it’s worth,
may be portrayed as heroes, while others are cowards, pacifists, or activists.
They are all the products of mankind. For them, there will always be a
place under the sun (with the exception of the traitor). But being as we are
a homogenous society, no one can ever be left out. And as it is by the very
inclination of the human race, the dark shadow of the wicked will play an
overpowering role in leaving behind the marks in the way of scars brought
upon them by society.

If the worst could ever be turned into good, the only lesson to be learned
of that is, never ever forget. For in the past lay the present, and in the present
the future. Without that, we will be repeating our mistakes and shortcomings,
and as a result the world will not be the place it was created to be.

In order to live, you still have to be able to somehow believe in the
goodness of mankind. In that light, we will start with our first words to
describe that which has been and never should have been.

Complete List of Names in the book “Jew Face”

Now you can find a complete listing of every name mentioned in the book “Jew Face: A story of love and heroism in Nazi-occupied Holland”.  Check back regularly as links will be added to provide more information about the most relevant characters in the book.

To go to the Page CLICK HERE or click the header on the Home Page of the site.