The "1939" Club

 E-Mail Newsletter

                                             October 1, 2005  Volume 1, Number 2 

Inside

 

Dr. Robert Krell …..  2

Anniversary ………....4

Survivor Videos……..5

Photos …………………  6

     

  

William Elperin

President

 

Michael Bazyler

Vice President

 

Susan Golant

Vice President & Secretary

 

Sam Rubinfeld

Vice President

 

Steve Hitter

Vice President

 

Rosemary Elperin

Financial Secretary

 

Mike Zelon

Treasurer

 

The “1939” Club

8950 W. Olympic Blvd. #437

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

(310) 491-7802

 

Email

the1939club@aol.com

 

Web Site

www.1939club.com

 

Copyright

The “1939” Club, Inc.

2005

 

 

 

"Holocaust Survivors: The Indestructible Spirit"

Ambitious Photo Portrait and Biography Project Begins

The “1939” Club is participating in an ambitious and important project under the auspices of The Sala and Aron Samueli  Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University. Titled “Holocaust Survivors: The Indestructible Spirit” the project encompasses the taking of photographs of 100 Survivors and  exhibiting them along with a synopsis of each Survivor’s biography. The project will first be exhibited at Chapman University and may, in the future, be made available for exhibition at other appropriate venues. A book of the photo- graphs and biographies is also planned. The project honors Sol and Fay Chase and was made possible by a generous gift from Irving M. and Nancy Fainbarg Chase.

Directing the project is Professor Marilyn Harran, whose students will review and help edit the biographies. “By sharing individual histories, members of The "1939" Club are giving Chapman University students an extraordinary opportunity to learn and to themselves become active contributors to ‘remembrance and witness’” Professor Harran said.

Sam Steinberg with Torah saved from destruction

The photographer for the project is Bill Aron. Mr. Aron is a world-class photographer known for depiction of Jewish life around the globe. He has traveled the “four corners” of the world with his camera. He described his feelings about the project as follows: “I anticipate, look forward to, each shoot much more than I have with any other project I’ve worked on. I  am thrilled to be part of this effort and hope the images live up to, not only my expectation, but those of others as well.” Steve Hitter is in charge of the project on behalf of the Club.

 

 

Page …….2            The “1939” Club E-Mail Newsletter                      

 

"I swore never

 to remain silent

whenever and

wherever human

beings endure

suffering and

humiliation. We

must always take

sides.”

 

            Elie Wiesel

 

 

 

Websites of interest

 

 

 

 

Jews in America

 

Forward Newspaper

 

Holocaust Chronicle

 

Claims Conference

 

Jewish Federation

 

Survivors of the Shoah

 

The Righteous

 

Yad Vashem

 

USHMM 


 

 

Een Hollands Jongetje Komt Terug

(A Little Dutch Boy Returns)

         

by Robert Krell, MD

From an Address delivered for the Child Survivor Gathering in Amsterdam, August 21, 2005. Copyright Robert Krell, MD, 2005 

 

I arrived in Holland this past Friday, August 19th, a date never forgotten in my family. It was August 19, 1942 that we were to report for “resettlement to the East”. Now we all know what that meant. My family did not obey. Instead I was placed with Christians through a series of miracles, my father hid in an attic, my mother elsewhere on false papers. We were all in The Hague but could not see each other for nearly 3 years.  What happened in those terrible times has never left our lives.

 

And now that we are all 60 years older than we were at “liberation” and I use that word, liberation, with caution, the 5, 10, and 15 year olds of 1945, are aged 65-75, give or take a few years. But we are forever the “child survivors”, no matter our chronological age.

 

Perhaps we should remind ourselves that only 7% of Jewish children in Nazi-occupied countries escaped death. Counting the 2-3% who fled prior to the war, one in ten survived, nine in ten were murdered. So we are regretfully, a rather exclusive group. And our post-war existence has been for many, exceedingly complicated for liberation proved to be not so liberating for us children. We were scattered to the winds. Our fate was in the hands of others who decided whether we would go to orphanages, kibbutzim, or on transports of various kinds to countries that would accept us. Sometimes we were returned to a surviving family member, or perhaps a parent, but even that comparatively good fortune did not always answer our prayers. The initial joy of reunion was frequently lost in the realization that both child and parent were suffering from the prolonged separations, the multiple losses, and the effects of physical and emotional trauma.

  

Page …….3       The “1939” Club E-Mail Newsletter   

Visit Child Survivor’s

Web Site

 

 

The Holocaust Art &

Writing Contest

 

 

This year’s winners:

 

Marissa Moonilal

Mater Dei High

 

Irina Dykhne

Univeristy High (L.A.)

 

Mathew Adam White

University High (L.A.)

 

Monique Becker

Lakeside Middle

 

Gabriella Duva

St. Anne School

 

Kim Ngai

Fulton Middle School

 

 

VIEW ENTRIES

 

 

 

My mother once told me, perhaps as long as 40 years after the war, that when she dropped me off at my Christian hiders and left me, I tried to follow her dragging my little suitcase behind me. I was two years old. She said she could see in my eyes that I would never forgive her. I denied that because she had saved my life. What courage! She gave me up in order to give me a chance to live. But she was right. At some deep level in my soul, I never did forgive her for leaving me. Her insight was far greater than mine.

And I certainly cannot forgive those who forced her to make such decisions. Millions of Jewish mothers and fathers were making life and death choices, where even the wisest and luckiest ended in death for it took only one misstep, one mistake, one failure of luck, one betrayal and it was over. Did Otto Frank not do almost everything possible to save his family? Had the allies been quicker to reach Holland, he would have succeeded. Had they not been betrayed, success would have been theirs. 

This is not the first time I have returned to Holland. We left for Canada in 1951. In 1961 I came to visit my Christian angels, Violette and Albert Munnik and my “sister” Nora who is ten years older. I knocked on the door one flight up at Loenenschestraat 147 and the neighbor opened his door. “Robbie?” he asked “Here to see your Moeder?” “Yes, meneer de Vries.” “Robbie, I’ve always meant to ask you why you never thanked me for not betraying you.” So from ages 2-5, I had lived next door to death, a neighbor with the thought of betrayal in mind. Fortunately, he did not act on it. Thousands of Dutch men and women did. And Jews and neighbors died because of them.

My parents both survived in hiding. Their own parents, brothers and sisters, were all murdered. My first cousin lost his family and chose to stay with his hiders rather than join us.

(Because Dr. Krell’s speech is so compelling, we have produced it in its entirety on our Web Site.) 

Click here to continue reading

Page …….4              The “1939” Club E-Mail Newsletter 

Yiskor Bikker

 Holocaust Memorial

Books

Now on line

 

The New York Public Library in partnership with the National Yiddish Book Center has digitized Yiskor Bikker. They are available on line and many have been translated into English.

 

Yiskor Books

Click Here

 

 

Holocaust/Jewish

Studies Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Guest

Robert Persinger

 

The “1939” Club

cordially invites you to celebrate our

53rd Anniversary

and the

60th Anniversary of Liberation

Sunday, October 30, 2005

12 O’clock Noon

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Reservations: (310) 276-5401

Dietary laws observed

 

Anniversary Celebration Honors American Liberators

On a beautiful, warm sunny day, May 6, 1945, Platoon Sergeant Robert Persinger of the 3rd Platoon, F Company, 3rd Squadron, drove his tank into Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mathausen concentration camp, Austria. “They [camp inmates] were singing and crying and so were we. They were so glad to see us. They wanted to get on our tanks and reached out for us to show their appreciation.”  

One of the inmates liberated that day was Dr. Sam Goetz, who was only 16 years of age. This event will reunite the American sergeant and the boy inmate for the first time since that fateful day in May of 1945.

Read the Liberation Stories of Members of the Club

 CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Page …….5                 The “1939” Club E-Mail Newsletter 

 

Save the Date

  

Sunday

February 26, 2006

 

53rd

Installation

 

Guest of Honor

 

Judge

Edward Korman

 

 

 

Presiding Judge

U.S. District Court

Eastern District of

New York

 *

Presided over the Swiss Banks

Litigation

 

 

Incredible Photographs

 

Club Provides Survivor Video Testimonies

 

The “1939” Club has donated a set of 60 video tapes, recorded in the early 1980’s at UCLA, to the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University and to the Jewish Studies Program at CSUN. The tapes were converted to the DVD format so that they would be accessible on personal computers.  These videos are especially interesting and import-

ant because they were taken when most of the Survivors were in their fifties. Both the technical quality and content are exceptional.  Within the coming months, the Club intends to post these videos on our web site so that students, and all those interested, will, in effect, be able to have Survivor videos on demand streamed to his or her computer.

 

 

 

BILL ARON  

“A visionary with a camera, a recorder of the glimmer of light and shade of the hidden life...”    

Chaim Potok

Mr. Aron is the author and photographer of From the Corners of the Earth: Contemporary Photographs of the Jewish World and Shalom Y’all: Images of Jewish Life in the American South.

To see his images from these books, CLICK HERE

 

Page …….6               The “1939” Club E-Mail Newsletter  

 

Donate Your

Books

  

Donate your books relating to the Holocaust to the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library and dedicate them to family members who perished in the Holocaust.

 Call (310) 491-7802

 

Become a Member

You don’t have to be a Survivor; you don’t even have to be Jewish!

 

Membership Form

Click Here

 

 

 

Sam Steinberg

Sig Halbreich

Dr. Sam Goetz

Isabelle Szneer

Images from the Lens of Bill Aron

Sam Steinberg shown on the first page and above is a survivor of Auschwitz; Sig Halbreich is 95 years young and a survivor of many camps including Auschwitz; Dr. Sam Goetz was liberated from Ebensee at the age of 16. Isabelle Szneer was in hiding in Belgium.             

Photos Copyright Bill Aron, 2005