It is the eve of Yom HaShoah today, or in English, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
What does it mean to me?
When I was younger my parents worked in Yad VaShem, a museum and research center of the Holocaust. I grew up with it as part of my life. My grandmother, Chava Greenberg, didn’t talk about her childhood a lot.
She was born in Poland. In 1939 she boarded a ship carrying Jewish immigrants trying to enter Palestine (Israel’s name at the time). She tried to convince her family to join her. She was the only survivor. She later discovered that her family was murdered in Auschwitz and Majdanek. She lost all her belonging when the ship was attacked by the British.
I don’t know a lot about my grandfather, Yehoshua Goldshlager. I never met him. He was also born in Poland, and came to Palestine a few years before the war. As far as I know, he lost most of his family in the war. I think some of his family was in Lodz Ghetto at some point.
On my father’s side, they were luckier. My grandmother (Regina) fled Germany in time with her family, and my grandfather (Avraham) left Ukraine after WWI. Both of them fled to Argentina.
Tomorrow at 10am a siren will sound throughout Israel and most of us will stand in silence for 2 minutes.
My grandparent’s generation is dying out. It is important today, more than ever, to educate our children, and keep the story alive. These days, when people seem crueler and number to pain and suffering, we must remember what has happened, so it never happens again – I make an effort to remember everyday.
My grandmother Chava holding her firstborn son. On the right, my grandfather Yehoshua.
My grandmother Regina, and my dad George.
A Yellow Badge Jews were ordered to wear to mark them as Jews.