August 1942, piotrkow poland. (aka.. The fence.)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by DTchickens, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    4,394
    33
    253
    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    I received this from a dear friend and it is an incredible story. I
    will go see the movie "The Fence" when it is released.
    I guarantee you will not have a dry eye when you read through this story.

    August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland

    The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women
    and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square. Word
    had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only recently died
    from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest
    fear was that our family would be separated.

    "Whatever you do," Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, "don't tell
    them your age. Say you're sixteen. "I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could
    pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man
    approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and
    down, and then asked my age. "Sixteen," I said. He directed me to the left,
    where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.

    My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and
    elderly people. I whispered to Isidore, "Why?" He didn't answer. I ran to
    Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her. "No, "she said sternly. "Get
    away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers." She had never spoken so
    harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so
    much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw
    of her.

    My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We
    arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were
    led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and
    identification numbers. "Don't call me Herman anymore." I said to my
    brothers. "Call me 94983." I was put to work in the camp's crematorium,
    loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened,
    I had become a number. Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one
    of Buchenwald's sub-camps near Berlin. One morning I thought I heard my
    mother's voice. "Son," she said softly but clearly, I am going to send you
    an angel." Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream. But in this
    place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.

    A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks,
    near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was
    alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with
    light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree.

    I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in
    German. "Do you have something to eat?" She didn't understand. I inched
    closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She stepped
    forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the
    girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her
    woolen jacket and threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I
    started to run away, I heard her say faintly, "I'll see you tomorrow." I
    returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day. She was
    always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet,
    an apple. We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for
    us both.

    I didn't know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that she
    understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me?
    Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side of the fence
    gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples. Nearly seven
    months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to
    Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia. "Don't return," I told the girl that
    day. "We're leaving." I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back,
    didn't even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I'd never learned,
    the girl with the apples.

    We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and
    Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945, I
    was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM. In the quiet of dawn, I
    tried to prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but
    somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over. I thought of my parents. At least,
    I thought, we will be reunited. But at 8 A.M. there was a commotion. I heard
    shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up
    with my brothers.

    Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was
    running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I'm not
    sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my
    survival. In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had
    saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother
    had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.

    Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish
    charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust
    and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had
    already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and
    returned to New York City after two years. By August 1957 I'd opened my own
    electronics repair shop. I was starting to settle in.

    One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. "I've got a date.
    She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date." A blind date? Nah, that
    wasn't for me.

    But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to
    pick up his date and her friend Roma. I had to admit, for a blind date this
    wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart.
    Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that
    sparkled with life. The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy
    to talk to, easy to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We
    were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk,
    enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I
    couldn't remember having a better time. We piled back into Sid's car, Roma
    and I sharing the backseat.

    As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been
    left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, "Where were you," she
    asked softly, "during the war?" "The camps," I said. The terrible memories
    still vivid, the irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never
    forget. She nodded. "My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from
    Berlin," she told me. "My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers."
    I imagined how she must have suffered too,
    fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new
    world. "There was a camp next to the farm." Roma continued. "I saw a boy
    there and I would throw him apples every day."

    What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. "What did he
    look like? I asked. "He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him
    every day for six months." My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it. This
    couldn't be. "Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was
    leaving Schlieben?" Roma looked at me in amazement. "Yes!" "That was me!" I
    was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't
    believe it! My angel.

    "I'm not letting you go." I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that
    blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait. "You're
    crazy!" she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner
    the following week. There was so much I looked forward to learning about
    Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her
    goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to
    the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let
    her go. That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years
    of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go.

    Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach, Florida
    This is a true story and you can find out more by Googling Herman Rosenblat.
    He was Bar Mitzvahed at age 75.
    This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.
    This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people world-wide.
    Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around
    the world


    Recieved in email.. If the movie does in fact come out. i'll watch it
     
  2. Frogdogtimestwo

    Frogdogtimestwo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    That couple was on Oprah it was very moving... It is a wonderful testament to love and compassion.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by