Today I am a Rabbinic Pastor, College Professor, Hebrew teacher, Playwright, Actor and former Podiatric physician.
Once I became aware of what my family and I went through during the Holocaust, I set about in search of answers And thus studied at seminary and was ordained through Alef: Alliance of Jewish Renewal. Unfortunately, although I learned a lot about Rabbinic texts and Halacha, most of my questions were not answered. They only increased.
I was born in Holland in a small town where my mother was sent to from Den Haag to get as far away from the German Invasion. That was April of 1943. Of course that town was soon overrun by the Gestapo and although there were many Righteous Gentiles [R.G] who helped the Jews, there were also many who denounced us. My mother had to give me away. There was a R.G doctor who created an underground bunker in the woods and together with a couple of nurses cared for 10 Jewish babies. I am told that when the Germans patrolled the woods our mouths were taped shut.
Our diet consisted of mashed down roots and boiled grass. Eventually this bunker was discovered, the nurses shot dead, the children clubbed to death by rifle butts. I am not sure how it was that I survived.
My father and grandfather had joined the resistance and the Dutch underground. My father was then caught and sent to Terezin. He was sent to a total of 6 concentration camps to finally succumb at Auschwitz. He died of slave labor, starvation and Typhus.
There is of course so much more to the story such as finding my father’s name in a records book at Terezin.
There is also the story of how my mother and I were finally reunited after the war.
In many ways I am not only a ‘Hidden Child’ but also a child of Holocaust survivors. I am now 80 years old and find that it has become my responsibility as one of the last survivors to share my story and that of my family.
This Holocaust survivor knows firsthand how traumatic it is for children to be ripped from their parents
Posted by NowThis on Saturday, June 30, 2018
One of our Speakers Bureau members, Dr. Aliza Erber, spoke about the impact of family separations at the Families Belong Together March in Washington DC this past weekend.
As a human rights organization, The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center view this not as political issue, but rather a humanitarian one. We encourage all who agree with this view to contact their congressional representatives to stop separation of families.