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J is for Jews in Hiding #AtoZChallenge Historical Treasure @AprilA2Z

12 Apr
Found on Pinterest, a photo from the gallery of www.holocaustresearchproject.org

Found on Pinterest, a photo from the gallery of http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org

On a recent visit to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam with my niece, I was reminded that it is still not known who betrayed the Frank family. I was also reminded of the courage of those who helped them, only a few people who risked so much to do the right thing.

In Chemnitz, Germany, Irene’s family was one of the few trusted with the secret kept to save lives. (Selected excerpts from “Survive Little Buddy” Book 1, My World War 2 Childhood. All rights reserved.)

Herr Baustein came back to his non-Jewish wife….He had been gone three months but knew he would be picked up again. He was ordered to divorce his wife, otherwise she would have to go into a camp with him. Their son, Jedidiah, was arrested and they did not know what happened to him.

“I don’t want her to go into a camp. Dear God, help us!”

….One morning Mama went out, early as usual, to the dairy store. She came back, shaking all over and crying. All the neighbors in our building cam out into the hall.

“The truck!” she cried. “They are at the Zweiniger dance hall. They are loading family after family into them. The Gestapo has been gathering people all night.”

Everyone ran to the dance hall.

“Get out of here or we’ll put you in these trucks too!” threatened the uniformed and plainclothesmen.

….The police came to the Cohen family who lived in back of their shoe store across the street. Their three sons, Tobias, Simon and Abner….were not home. One neighbor said he thought they had gone one way, another neighbor said another way; everyone cooperated in confusing the police.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 11.44.49 AM….As many Jewish families were disappearing regularly, some of our neighbors decided to dig caves where such families could hide….The fear of informers was so great, only a very few people knew of the plan or were allowed to work on the project.

….The Cohens worked on the digging and slept in the caves even before they were finished….Papa helped brace the ceiling with railroad ties.

….Every other day Mama took some meals late at night to the cave. She covered the food with potato peelings just in case some suspicious person would see her. Those peelings were fed to the rabbits mixed with some grated wheat.

I heard that Esther Goldberg [Irene’s playmate] and her family moved into the caves. The hidden people now totaled nine.

Salute to helpers known and unknown.  Otto Frank and the Helpers A photo taken in October 1945. From left to right: Miep Gies, Johannes Kleiman, Otto Frank, Victor Kugler, and Bep Voskuijl. (annefrank.org)

Salute to helpers known and unknown.
Otto Frank and the Helpers
A photo taken in October 1945. From left to right: Miep Gies, Johannes Kleiman, Otto Frank, Victor Kugler, and Bep Voskuijl. (annefrank.org)

….When we washed clothes for the hidden people we could see the fabric was wearing to shreds….Mama took the clothes we got from the Diakonissen sisters to the hidden people. One day Papa brought home some “army uniforms”….the Cohen boys were grateful for them.

In the late fall and winter when evenings were quickly dark, the ever hungry Cohen boys, dressed in their army uniforms, would slip through the courtyard fence and line up with the soldiers in temporary quarters outside the dance hall where the Army cooks dished out stew and bread.

[Over the next two years…]

….Policemen continually watched the neighborhood for some signs as to the whereabouts of the Jewish families. I just knew there must be more Jewish people in hiding all over Germany, being protected and helped by friends. Of course, we spread a lot of rumors that ll the Jewish people had been already picked up, and they ought to get their records straight.

Herr Helbig, another friend who drove a truck for the cities’ food supplies, came by our house often….”For them,” he used to say.

Resourceful and courageous. In the midst of darkest days, there shines a light. I believe that. So next will be K is for Kindnesses.

__________________

Kristin King is an indie author who published Irene Kucholick’s memoirs because she saw them as a historical treasure. “Preserving and distributing them means a lot to me.”

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12 Comments

Posted by on April 12, 2016 in Memoirs & History

 

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12 responses to “J is for Jews in Hiding #AtoZChallenge Historical Treasure @AprilA2Z

  1. kristinkingauthor

    April 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I’m sharing from the book all month, which I can do since I am the publisher. This is a book that found me, and a friend, Irene, I never knew I might have. Irene often reminds me of my own grandmothers who have gone to be with the Lord. I wish there were more opportunities in our daily lives for inter-generational sharing–that my children could meet my grandparents today.

     
  2. kristinkingauthor

    April 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I probably have not read as much as many others. I do like to focus on the aspects that inspire hope and help us live each day to the utmost. Good to see you again.

     
  3. kristinkingauthor

    April 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Messed up but never beyond redemption. I really believe that. I’m so glad you came by. Thank you.

     
  4. kristinkingauthor

    April 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    It’s like the visitors books where people write sayings such as “never again” and “lest we forget.”

     
  5. kristinkingauthor

    April 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I think it’s because we stop thinking of others as human beings and treating them as something less. I try to remind myself and our kids that we are all of us, every one, made in the image of God, valuable, important, and worthwhile.

     
  6. aandj8804

    April 13, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I always love hearing stories of people helping others during the holocaust when so many were being killed. The book you are sharing today sounds really good. Were you inspired to read this book after visiting Amsterdam and the Frank family hiding place?

     
  7. dalecooper57

    April 13, 2016 at 7:31 am

    I’ve been to the Frank house and read a lot about the Jewish resistance and those who helped them. They were some of the true heroes, in a time which demonstrated the extremes of good and evil which mankind is capable of.

     
  8. tcausten

    April 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Stuff like this reminds mW how messed up humans are at times. Such a powerful post. I’m glad I found you

     
  9. Bob Scotney

    April 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    It’s many years since I visited Anne Franks house and I still am amazed and ashamed at what men can do to one another. Stories like this just remind me,

     
  10. kristinkingauthor

    April 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Yes. I wish I could say I was that kind of person, but I don’t think you ever know till you’re in a situation.

     
  11. Lata Sunil

    April 12, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The courage of the people with great risk to their lives is amazing.

     

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