The last time I spoke with my Bubbe, it was via cell phone while I was shopping at Costco. In between the aisles of bulk Frosted Flakes and buckets of refrigerated sour cream, we spoke for about five…minutes or so. She hadn't been feeling well lately, so I kept the call short and sweet—just a quick check in to see how she was feeling and to remind her how much we loved her. She also spoke with my son—her great grandson—who regaled her with stories of end of the school year shenanigans.… >> Read More
There were obvious reasons I didn’t want to travel to Germany this summer. Actually, there were reasons I didn’t want to travel to Germany—ever. I planned to spend my life very happily visiting…all sorts of other places on the planet, but neatly avoiding that one country. I grew up with Survivor parents and Survivor grandparents, also Survivor aunts and uncles, all of whom talked about Germany a lot, mostly spitting over their shoulders or hissing in their voice towards the Nazis who marched out of that country… >> Read More
Jillian Cantor creates magic in the form of stories. Cantor, also a mom, writes historical novels for both teens and adults, and I've read many of them— including "Margot," about Anne Frank's…sister, "The Hours Count," about the Rosenbergs, and her latest, "The Lost Letter," a historical novel that focuses on resistance workers during World War II Austria--threaded through by a love letter "that connects generations of Jewish families." It tells the story of Kristoff, a non-Jew and Elena, the Jewish daughter of a master stamp engraver, who fall… >> Read More
Simone Veil, who died this week at 89, survived the horrors of the Holocaust—including losing her family—to become one of France's pioneering politicians, a spearhead of the first law…decriminalizing abortion in the country since the Napoleonic era. How did she make a life, a family and a career as an activist and leader after enduring what she did? She credited her mother, who died of Typhus before the liberation of Auschwitz, as a guiding light. “I’m often asked what gave me the strength… >> Read More
On June 28, 1998, my mother sat down to be interviewed for the Shoah Foundation. It was her 68th birthday.
The interview took two days. She and the interviewer sat comfortably in my mother’s…living room, her pride and joy. This was where she showcased her best furniture, the furniture she’d bought as a new homeowner in Skokie in 1960 and which had moved to Arizona with us in 1973. The room was filled with her most precious items: china and glassware, marble tables and ornate damask couches. These… >> Read More