Sunday, October 14, 2012

Interval One

HI! Welcome to Interval One, the first of the Interval pages of the blog A Ball for Genia. The Interval pages provide space where you can join in with your valued comments and opinions, and perhaps engage in a lively discussion! The goal of the whole endeavor is, of course, Holocaust Remembrance. And there are two other sites, besides the blog itself, that covet your comments: the Face Book page A Ball for Genia, and the dedicated e-mail address

Many topics and subjects will be put forward in the near future to encourage your participation. For example, movies such as Good, The Reader, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Conspiracy.

But first, read Bobbie’s story. It is a story that speaks from the heart told by a woman who wishes to be unknown.  Knowing that there are such people as Bobbie in the world gives us hope for the future.

Bobbie’s Story

Where was God when all this was happening?”

 In 1993, I was working in one of the largest Community Centers in Chicago. I was the assistant director of Adult Services. I was asked to "shepherd" a group of Holocaust survivors to Israel. There were 28 in all. I heard their stories, held their hands as they read their family names at the Holocaust Memorial; I sat with some of them in the late hours of the night in hotel lobbies when they couldn't sleep. I saw the names of people like Irene Sendler, who were brave enough to hide and abet escapes for these people.

Some had never had the courage to talk about it even to other family members. The stories I heard could not have been invented. They recognized train cars and spoke of the Warsaw ghetto, of Auschwitz, Buchenwald and the others, where they saw their loved ones taken to gas chambers. It was so draining, and always the question came up, "Where was God when all this was happening"? The only answer I could come up with was, ‘He must have been crying that once again his people were being slaughtered and we don't always know why, and we perhaps someday will know, or not.'

I heard descriptions of the railroad cars, so crowded that children died when people fell on them. I listened to stories of people with whom the Gestapo (police) were friends of the families, and tried to help them, until it became impossible. There were many non-Jews who helped hide them and helped them escape, brave souls who are listed and honored on the Avenue of the Righteous in Tel Aviv.

We have to remember this history to prevent it from happening again. Every once in a while, I think about these people, some of whom are gone now but not forgotten by most of the free world. It still is up to us to pass this along and to make sure our children know the history of this horrific time.

My great nephews, last year in high school, were given permission by the city to create a memorial that stands around the corner from the Dallas Holocaust Museum. It is on the corner of a parking lot because there was no room to put in on the sidewalk. I pray that people walking by will stop and read the names on the stones, and sit on the bench, and just say a prayer for those families who lost loved ones, and for those who survived.

Love and blessings,



A Pledge! No photos of piles of naked corpses and human beings starved to skeletons will be shown on this blog -- most likely you have seen them.   If you wish to refresh your memory open Google, click on images in the heading, and enter HolocaustYou will be invited to view any of over 93,500,000 images, including photographs. 
Many of the photographs had their origin at the request of General Eisenhower, who said to the GI’s who first encountered the horrors: “Take lots of pictures for there’s sure to be some individual who will say it didn’t happen.”  And so, they took lots of pictures.
Frau Ilse Koch was the wife of a commander at Buchenwald.  Perhaps she had time on her hands, as she developed a new hobby:  creating gloves, lamp shades and other accessories. There was a shortage of the usual hobby material, so she used an item readily available in a concentration camp — the skin of prisoners.  She especially sought skin with interesting tattoos, and the unlucky prisoner with an interesting tattoo soon became a usable supply. For the diligence she displayed in her hobby, she became known as The Bitch of Buchenwald.

Episode Two of A Ball for Genia will be published on Monday October 22!

To access the blog, just click on the link in the heading above. But please remember, Episode Two won’t be viewable until Monday, October 22.

In Episode Two, we find Genia, and her mother Lusia, safe in Wachter’ big house.  (Relatively safe, that is, for in those parlous times, no Jew was safe in Europe.) Wachter’s home was a way stop of an underground railway that sends Jews to a safer country such as Switzerland. There are an unusual number of Jews there in the house because the Allied armies are very close, and it is unsafe to leave.  Prepare to meet some of the dwellers there:   Maury; Dolek and his wife Sharon; Marek, the counterfeiter; Mrs Winkleman, cook and housekeeper;  the Rabbi; Itzak, the angry man; and Feodor the fiddler.

See you again then!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That was so very moving. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.