I have added a few languages to this blog through Google translate. I hope that it may be accurate enough with the communication of ideas.
Witam! (Polish translation of Welcome)
Witam w moim polskim blogu! Mój pradziadek został osierocony w czasie epidemii grypy w 1918 roku i spędził wiele lat poszukując swojego rodzeństwa. Część rodziny pozostała w Chicago a część wróciła do Polski. Część rodziny była katolikami a część, jak przypuszczam, wyznania mojżeszowego. Piszę w moim blogu o rzeczach które odkrywam i o których dowiaduję się mając nadzieję, że pomogą one wszystkim zainteresowanym w ich własnych poszukiwaniach. Wierzę, że ten blog pomoże mi w skontaktowaniu się z ludźmi którzy wiedzą coś na temat osób ktorych poszukuję. Zdjęcia cyfrowe lub linki umieszczone są w większości moich komentarzy i artykułów, można więc otworzyć je na cały ekran. Gorąco zachęcam do komentarzy. Proszę wpisać się do księgi gości i podać kogo Państwo szukacie. Może będziemy mogli pomóc sobie nawzajem, ponieważ nie jest łatwo znaleźć dane których szukamy. Mam nadzieję, że zainteresuje Państwa odkrywanie ze mną tajemnic przeszłości. Mam rówież nadzieję poznać lepiej moje polskie dziedzictwo.
Dodałam do mojego blogu automatyczne tłumaczenia poprzez Google. Ufam, że będą wystarczające w zrozumieniu o czym jest mowa w artykułach i komentarzach.
Dziękuję! - Julie
12 July 2009
Anita Lobel: No Pretty Pictures- A Child of War
I thought this was a truly amazing story! And very well written. Anita was about 10 years old when the invasion started. Her parents separated for safety. The Nannie who was not Jewish, kept Anita and her brother safe and hidden for about 5 years. Then they were discovered, and the children spent time in multiple concentration camps. It is absolutely amazing how she and her brother were able to stay together through all of it. It is amazing how her mother was able to stay safe through the war. And even more amazing that after the war her mother and father were reunited together and then reunited with their children. And it is also truly amazing that they survived in a camp without children. (Only adults were aloud to live in those camps, children were killed.)
I really like this story, because it is told from a child's perspective. It isn't sugar coated, but it isn't so scary and awful that you won't be able to sleep at night. Instead you're left to ponder this amazing story with a good ending. Stories that were sometimes hard, but then stories of people trying to be helpful and caring. Like the Nuns, all the people trying to help Jews restore their health, people helping the Jews search for family and try to help reunite families after the war. I think Anita does an excellent job explaining the situation, how she felt, and how others around her felt. She really explains and helps you get a good feel for how it felt to live in Poland during that time period. Various social classes, various types of people and backgrounds are explained. From life in peasant areas, to the cities, to the ghetto, and to the quiet countryside. I loved the story of how they kept the matzo balls safe!
On a personal note, thinking about what little I know about my family in that time period...Anita's father and some other Jewish men left early to try to escape. Because at that time, men were rounded up and killed first. During their escape, the men were captured by Russians. Anita's father was in a camp for about a year, then just released and able to work on his own and live (it sounded like) pretty independent with some freedoms. He was aloud to sell things. (He was a merchant in Poland before the war.) He probably lived better and safer than he could at that time in Poland. After the war, the Russians just let him go home. I was amazed because of what I've heard about the Gulag camps in Russia, where so many did not survive. And I was surprised because for a long time Jews in Russia were so persecuted they sought refuge in Poland. So it was almost the reverse for Anita's father. We were told our relative Stanley Sanetra (a US Citizen) was captured by Russians on a visit to see the relatives in Poland. He was captured because he was a bridge engineer. No one in our family ever heard from him again. We hsven't yet been able to find anything to prove or disprove this story. Also Bronislaw Sanetra (Known as "Bennie" by our family) went to Russia about the same time Anita's father went as a Jewish refugee. So I am amazed that Anita's father was just allowed to go home, but I am very happy that her family was able to be reunited together.
After Anita was in concentration camps and away from her parents for over a year, she was rescued from the concentration camp and taken to recover in Sweden. It was wonderful to read how well they cared for her and her brother. She was content to never leave Sweden and their hospitality to her. She learned the language well. She went to school. And an art teacher introduced her to watercolor which she was very good at, right from her first try. I was so impressed with how much Anita learned. -Not just life lessons, but multiple religious ways, multiple languages, customs, etc. She was a hard working student, truly appreciating her chance for a formal education. I know I say "amazing" a lot here, but I can't think of how else to describe my feelings about it. I highly recommend reading this amazing and miraculous story!