Liz Perle was 19 when her grandfather died and 33 when her grandmother passed away.
Although Perle had a basic knowledge of what the Philadelphia couple had done just before World War II, it was not until decades later that she read her grandmother’s unpublished memoir closely and discovered that her grandparents were heroes.
“Gilbert and Eleanore Kraus simply did not talk about this at all once they resumed their lives,” said Perle’s husband, Steven Pressman, director of the documentary “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” to be shown on HBO on April 8. “It was not their style to do that.”
Although the Krauses’ two children knew their parents had helped rescue Jewish children from the Holocaust, it was left to the grandchildren to share the story with the public.
This year, Yom Hashoah falls on Sunday, April 7. There are many community observances. Here is a list, correct as of press time, showing the various offerings.
Of the many enduring and iconic images of the last century, Einstein, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Churchill and FDR leap immediately to mind.
Pause for a moment and then add the name of Anne Frank to this select gallery of the famous, the powerful, and the uplifting. And note her place in this pantheon with added emphasis on Yom Hashoah, just weeks after her yahrzeit.
Frank would have been 84 had she not died, just shy of her 16th birthday, in Bergen-Belson. The typhus epidemic that killed her overwhelmed the concentration camp in 1945, during the waning weeks of World War II. Her remains rest in a mass grave with thousands of other victims of the Shoah at a site that now bears a memorial to her and her sister, Margot, and has become a magnet for pilgrims of all faiths vowing never to forget.
BERLIN — I was 23 when I first met my cousin Gilbert Michlin.
He was sitting at a brasserie near his office in Paris, wearing a dark suit with a folded handkerchief poking out of the breast pocket. His short dark hair was combed perfectly.
He said, in charmingly accented English, “There is one thing I must tell you. I was in Auschwitz.”
Of course, I already knew. But I had never met a survivor before, let alone our French cousin, who had been a slave laborer for Siemens at the death camp.
VANCOUVER, Canada — When Austrian and German Jews escaped Nazism by fleeing to Britain during the 1930s, the last thing they expected was to find themselves prisoners in Canada, interned in camps with some of the same Nazis they had tried to escape back home.
But that’s what happened to some 7,000 European Jews and “Category A” prisoners — the most dangerous prisoners of war — who arrived on Canadian shores in 1940. Fearing a German invasion, Britain had asked its colonies to take some German prisoners and enemy spies. But the boats included many refugees, including religious Jews and university students.
1. Kicked out of paradise
“Thank God Purim’s over and done with. Now we can start planning for Passover.”
That’s what Mama said the morning after Purim, as she carefully inspected the four corners of the parlor like a chicken about to lay an egg. There, a few days later, we saw some hay and two boxes, upon which stood a little barrel covered by a coarse, white piece of cloth. Father and I were called into the parlor and warned about three dozen times that I not dare enter the room again, look at it from a distance, or even breathe in the general area.
Immediately thereafter, the parlor door was shut, and, with all due respect, we were told to bid a hearty goodbye to the room and not set foot into it until Passover.
Last year, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California, held a Passover food haiku contest on his Facebook wall. My haiku was declared the winner. It read:
A Pesach highlight
My mom’s long lost plum brisket
Somewhere, she’s kvelling.
Here’s the story behind the haiku.
Sharon Marson loves questions.
“I love where they bring you and how they can really open up your thinking to things,” said Marson, schoolwide enrichment coordinator at the Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. (The school is more commonly known as SAR.)
“We think of creative thinkers as people who are simply gifted, and it is a component. But it’s also a skill,” she said, “and we can be trained in the skill.”
For her new book, “More Than Four Questions: Inviting Children’s Voices to the Seder,” Marson took questions she had compiled from students and referred them to small groups of youngsters for their reactions and answers. The whole process took six years.