This is the third post in the series. I mentioned before that my Mom taped her story for the Shoah project. You can access the tapes through the RENCI site.
Also, regulars here know that my Mom reads this blog and sometimes comments. I assume that she would not object to answering a couple of polite questions from readers.
Do the hidden Children Differ from the Others?
Saturday, November 10th
I liked the lecture of Robert Krell he gave this morning. He told us his “story”. He comes from Holland, was hidden from 1942-1945 and after the war he reunited with his parents, who were also in hiding, while distant relatives parished in Aushwitz. A psychologist by profession, he devoted his research to the problem of hidden children. From his experience, he found out that children were not hiding only during the war. Many needed a long period of time to come out from their shelters and stop keeping silent. Only about 25 years later they began to talk. Those who made it, saild Krell, are here today, with us.
There were children who got so strongly connected to their foster families that they did not want to return back to their own parents. It took them quite a long time to make up their minds and decide to leave their rescuers. They were thankful to the people for what they have done for them.
I talked of the undertaking of the Belgrade Jewish Historical Museum, which printed a series of books under the title “We survived”. I showed the group the first two volumes in English. Further, I explained that this is being done by elderly volunteers of the Jewish Community in Belgrade. They busily collect testimonies of people who had survived the war. So far, 180 testimonies were published in four volumes. I also spoke about camps, places of execution and suffocation. On mentioning Jasenovac, the terrible concentration camp Jasenovac, I could hear few voices loudly pronouncing:”Yugoslav Auswitz”. Krell himself showed interest in the books and I gave them to him.
Another “workshop” dealt with our relationship with our rescuers. It is well known that everyone who saved a Jew has got an Israeli medal “The Righteous Among The Nations”. There is a garden planted in honour of the Rightous near the Museum.
Of course, there were unpleasant experiences. Not all children were lucky. Not all were treated in the same way. Some were maltreated and used for hard work.
Very moving stories were told about individual destinies and the way how contacts are being kept with foster families, how the children and grandchildren continue the ties – so strong and deep. Some were in a position to help and “pay back” in different ways. I pointed out my case. I told them of my intention to spend several days not with a member of my large family who live in Israel, but with the daughter of dr.Schmuckler who rescued me during the war. I wanted to go back to our memories.