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My Grandpa Just Kept it to Himself

Updated on December 24, 2014

North Brunswick

New Jersey

Christmas eve, 2014

Today is the day, and my grandpa, who is 76, stayed the night at our House In Jersey.

His problem was his lack of willingness to go to see a doctor.

For the last 13 years he hasn't seen a physician, and he was not looking forward to it, even if he didn't feel good at all. The weather wasn't helping that much!

He is sitting in our living room, watching -- let me take a look -- a documentary about Churches in Belgium?

To my surprise he began to speak in this broken down language.

I think it was French, which we don't speak at all!!

And his voice changed to a deep and hard to swallow kind of voice.

"Oui!! Cherchez! Avec! Was the summer of 1942, when Hitler and his Gestapo decimated our society and culture, our assets and precious personal belongings.

'Kristallnacht' was the beginning of our very end. Luckily, I was roaming this street in Belgium, where my friend, who was Catholic, warned me not to go home. They had already taken my parents to a concentration camp!!"

My own father, his son, came over to the living room and wanted to switch the Channel without grandpa's permission!!??

Dad knew the story all along, and as soon as he found out what my grandfather was saying he wanted to walk away from this genealogical trouble.

"stay, please Michael... stay son..." said old timer Francis to my dad while grabbing my dad's shoulder.

"We were lucky to be hidden in this small tiny cute little Church, 'The Saint Elizabeth Church of our Sacred Heart.'

As I told your dad, forty years ago, we were the last orphan survivors that never wanted to loose our parents to this infamous genocide.


Grandpa was going into details! Telling us all this... like he had all the time of the world. My dad was getting emotional and I was wiping my own share of compassionate tears as well.

"God strike me to death, but it was on March of 1943. As clear as today. The zz launched a raid into our Convent. Our novice nuns took 200 kids for a 'picnic.' This way these despicable Nazis wouldn't take us away to join our parents.

But I was sick and had bronchitis. I had no choice, I had to stay in order to get better.

Father Bruno or this famous 'Henri Reynders' who was always there for us, did what no one could have done in his right mind..."

Why... Why?

My grandfather was holding back tears for two long minutes before continuing and I... I was about to tell him "forget it grandpa. This is too sad!"

"Father! Would you stop this stupid story," said my father to his own. "Michael, I want to tell you all... what is really in my heart.

My days are shorter and I fear that one night I won't be here anymore...remember how I used to get my meal for every Christmas eve and stubbornly used to ask for two meals?" said my 'gramps', inquiring right into my dad's eyes.

"Yes dad, you used to go to your bedroom and wanted to be alone with two meals of everything. Even those chocolate bars, " answered my dad Michael kinda annoyed.

"That Was my symbolic thanks to Father Bruno, who saved my life on that cold night of March of 1943.

These ZZ butchers and snatchers of humanity got hold of my whereabouts and found me in one of the nuns' bed, with this high fever. They didn't care! One of them dragged me down the steps of this Church... and took me outside, and father Bruno, running down the steps shouted, 'If you are going to take him, just take the two of us. I don't care!"

One of the Gestapo young Hitlerian snatchers stopped the one that was dragging me and told him in clear German, 'this is too much, we have kids too! Just let them go Schultz!'"

My Father was speechless, and left to bring napkins for all of us. Grandpa, had a story I never heard of, and was all sadly true!!

"Father Bruno, Lord have merci! Took me inside the church and prayed for 2 hours.

The thing is... it was a Catholic Church, but as you know I was born Jewish. My parents were Jewish and died with their beliefs intact at Auschwitz... and unfortunately they died of famine a year before the French resistance and its allies stormed our town. Anyways, I want to apologize, is this.... On every holiday I get motivated to speak out and let you guys understand my ways, that were already set when I left that Church in 1945 to join other young adults my age, in the reconstruction of our own lives... My own parents were dead and I had my own mission to accomplish."

"That was the School you founded in Brussels dad, back in 61?" asked my Father. "Yep! and every Sunday religiously would go to mass in both Churches, the one I told you about, and our own synagogue."

My mother came from doing her Sunday grocery shopping and brought a present for my grandfather. "I found this little church made of clay, father. I think you would've love this one right?"

My granddad, took a deep breath and held the little church against his heart and... tears rolled down his face, as he was taking that gift to the guest's bedroom and that was so heartfelt. My dad..for the very first time was crying as a kid and we embraced as brothers. My Mother didn't have much to say.

I began to write the story at 5 pm, right before Christmas!

Is this story real?

See results


Submit a Comment
  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Thanks to you Momma mia,

    We all have a story to be told... and we are here for some reason. We as writers have a saying and we let it out in here. Glad you liked this piece!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    I appreciate your words Mikeq107. There was so muhc to say, but we decided to keep the hubbing this short. Seems that more than 85% think is a true story. You did find out on that second part. Thanks Mikey!


  • Momma Mia profile image


    9 years ago from North Carolina

    Powerfully moving! Thank you for this beautiful write!




  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great story Loved it...your a true writer!!!

    Mike :0)

  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Hi Epi,

    Was up until 3 a.m. so I would've join you brother! But thanks for your words of commendation and you always making people laugh...1


  • epigramman profile image


    9 years ago

    ...well dear sir LORD OF THE HUB ALMIGHTY - I really do love how you take me to different places in your writing with such imagination and intrigue and daring and boldness - it's always a trip to the world of your sacred imagination and will receive a most righteous endorsement to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - just arrived home from night shift work at 4:49am ontario lake erie and some red wine, Steel Pulse reggae music and some honey garlic spare ribs - does epi know how to partee or what?

  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Mary 615,

    Was away from the Computer all day, and I'm Catching up with you ladies and gentlemen.

    The veracity of the story will be answered on a follow up hub. Meanwhile you can check the poll widget added a few munites ago. Thanks Mary, will comments on your hubs also!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Raciniwa, In order to confirm the story, go back at the poll and you make your decision, the asnwer is going to be in a second hub!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Hello Becky Katz,

    Well I'm ready to answer with more detailed on a second part of this hub. You are very right! The Holocaust is present in so many survivors and will never be repaired from our own humanity and our mistakes. Sorry to tell you but it's been so many times..that History repited itself! Thanks for your words!


  • Lord De Cross profile imageAUTHOR

    Joseph De Cross 

    9 years ago from New York

    Hello prashantpujan,

    Thanks for your comment, sorry for the lateness! I appreciate your comments! Take care!


  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    9 years ago from Florida

    Lord, was this true or fiction? Either way, it was a powerful story. I am old enough to remember the horrors of what happened to the Jews under Hitler. To this day I find it hard to believe the terrible things that happened to the Jews. Very moving and powerful. I voted it UP, etc.

  • raciniwa profile image


    9 years ago from Talisay City, Cebu

    that's the evil of war...i was wondering if this is a true story that happened in your family?but i've heard lots of account regarding WWII and what happened to the Jews...

  • shanaya profile image


    9 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

    Hey Sir Lord! Your story was beautifully written and full of old memories. You know I used to Love my Grand parent's stories because there were only Truth and no nonsense or lie. But unfortunately my Lovely Granny {Mom's Mom} is no more and my dad's Mom is not well because she got a minor paralysis attack. Your story reminded me of my own grandparent's, So I felt connected with it. Thanks for sharing with us.Give my lots of Love to your Grandpa.:)

    Voted up so high, interesting, awesome.

    with lots of Love & Respect

    from SHANAYA:)

  • Becky Katz profile image

    Becky Katz 

    9 years ago from Hereford, AZ

    They have so much to pass on to us. Sometimes, we don't listen and that is such a pity. I am so glad that you listened and gave us this story of his. It means so much to us all. We do not want some history to repeat itself. Too many are saying that it never happened. Keep telling the stories please.

  • prashantpujan profile image


    9 years ago from Mumbai, India

    beautiful narration..


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