Holocaust Survivor Hedi Fried from Elie Wiesel's Hometown
Holocaust Survivor Revisits Sighet, Her Home In Romania
Recently I was wondering how many holocaust survivors were still living and if those who have not been able to tell their story will ever come to the place that it would be possible for them to do so.
Something primal, something deep in the depths of my heart and mind hopes they will be able to, wants them to, and wants their descendants to continue working on doing it. But what about the rest of us? Are we not supposed to help and support them in any way possible? What does it mean if we do not?
Coming across this article on Hedi Fried compelled me to write about her work. How could I not try to help facilitate her survival story in the face of the awful, unspeakable horrors of the Romanian people's experiences during their black days of Nazi occupation?
As Hedi was visiting her hometown of Sighet and trying to tell the story of what happened during the horrible invasion, I was thinking of how sadly divided Romania's people were by the German occupation and remembering that some of the German soldiers themselves had no heart for what they were forced by their government to do. Thinking, too, of how hindsight is 20/20.
However, nothing can justify what happened throughout Romania during that tragic time. Nothing changes the effects it had on those who lived through the destruction. It defies description since the multitudes who did not survive cannot tell their story.
Hedi Fried is doing not only herself, her people, and Romania's youth a good deed by telling her story, she is doing all of mankind a favor. If only everyone could listen with true understanding!
Follow her from Sighet to the Ghetto, then to Auschwitz, Hamburg, Bergen-Belsen and forward through her easy-to-read writing that tells of how life was shaken and then shattered.
The site also has excerpts from the autobiography. Take a look if you do not want to wait on "The Road To Auschwitz: Fragments Of A Life" by Hedi Fried to arrive in your mail box. It will give you a sense of this poignant story's telling that should never be forgotten.
I pray that Hedi Fried comes to know that although there is much that we do not understand, God has not forgotten her people.
Corrie ten Boom
Survival in Yugoslavia (Jugoslavia)
Many today are familiar with The Hiding Place, the miraculous story of Corrie ten Boom's family's leadership in the Dutch Underground that aided the escape of Jews from Nazis. It would be a wonderful thing to have the stories of all who did what they could to help those pursued by that regime. In her family, only she avoided death in a concentration camp.
Released by a miracle through a clerical error from Ravensbruch, her dear sister Betsy perished there. Her consequential work of writing and speaking has allowed the truth about the times in which she lived to be proclaimed and her family members to be remembered. Hers is a far too common story from far too many countries.
As in all the countries that the Nazi regime attacked, Yugoslavia's war torn history is also filled with terror, blood, along with stories of survival. One woman of that country has a record of living through the events that are bound up in a faith which still speaks to us today.
Not knowing, so, not being able to understand everything at work behind the crushing destruction of her beautiful land did not keep Joseka from clinging to her faith with a fierceness that allowed her to put one foot in front of the other when there was nothing else she could do.
Reading her story at a time in my life when I would have gone under for good encouraged me to also cling to faith that God is sovereign at all times in all circumstances. Her story of survival is a life-giving account of perseverance that gave her and her children a hope-filled purposeful future.
Below, under More Information, you can find a link to my hub on the book that recounts many of her life experiences in vivid detail. Read Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy to learn about a time and place most reading this hub cannot fathom. Learn of the faith that allowed her to help others when she was in desperate need herself.
Coming to understand how God's sustaining and using her through the unimaginable fearful suffering of the fire and deep waters in that time and place, and then used her to help others through the sharing of her experience with Him during those days, allowed me to continue looking to Him for His ageless help in my severe time of need.
A Story of Survival
After the Nazis
Today, with global social media, we are able to read about other holocausts happening in real time. As an example see Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust and also this report. Perhaps these events are helping the children and grandchildren speak up about what happened to their parents and grandparents.
Keeping the truth about the events alive is as important as keeping the memories of those who were lost alive. Seeing a meaningful photo essay on how the tattooed numbers speak of the courage, dignity, and inspiration of those who live on.
Would I have the courage to tattoo my grandparents concentration camp number on my arm in their memory? Maybe, maybe not, I can't say for sure, but I know the thought of it sends a chill up my spine. And it should do so for everyone.
We all have a responsibility to acknowledge the events and support those who continue working to keep the memories at the forefront of history lessons because if we do not we endanger ourselves and our future generations. Nothing speaks to us like experience. Pastor Martin Niemoller's comments, one quote seen at the beginning of this hub, speaks the truth of that fact well.