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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

{A Humbling Day}

We live in a huge Jewish community. At our grocery store, there is an amazing section of kosher foods. We live close to a Jewish community center, and this month they hosted a traveling exhibit of Anne Frank's Memoirs. I had been wanting to take the girls to this exhibit since I first found out about it back in January. But something happened before I made it to the exhibit today with the girls.

It all started when Mike changed out our struts (or shocks, since I can't figure out the difference between the two) on our car. I guess an alignment is very important to have after changing such things out. So, I made an appointment at Goodyear (they gave me a $20 coupon!), and this afternoon I went in with my big bottle of water and a few magazines. I sat down in the waiting room. I spotted an elderly woman in a wheelchair talking to an elderly man sitting right across from her. Another man was sitting next to this elderly woman. She kept looking at me, but then would talk to her husband. I could understand a few words here & there, but then she started speaking in a language I couldn't understand.

Finally, her son (I assume) went up to pay for their repairs, and she stared straight at me, and started talking to me. She told me about how she was going to make some ____ (some Jewish food) but her stove went out, and on & on & on she spoke. I smiled and nodded my head, as if I understood what she was saying (although deep down inside I had no clue). The son finally came over to me, and said "she is a survivor from Auschwitz". I took a double glance at him, and said "the concentration camp?... THE Auschwitz?" He replied "YES!" I thought "amazing!" She showed me her beautiful Star of David necklace adorned with diamonds. Her husband (who was a little short man dressed in a mismatched suit topped with a fancy hat) nodded in agreement to everything she said. She told me of how she & her husband were 15 years old when they were both at Auschwitz. Although they were there, they didn't know each other then, they met after the war was over. She was there for FIVE years! I asked her how she managed to stay alive for so long, and she replied "oh, I knew how to work".

Her father was a broom maker, so she made brooms. When the machines came that made brooms, she no longer made brooms. She went on to making watches, etc. That was when her husband picked up my arm that has my cheap $10 watch, and he said admiring it. I laughed and told him "oh, this is a cheapie". He smiled. After that, the wife kept talking and talking, and the husband was acting like "OK, I've heard this story a million times now, let's go". :)

It was such a humbling experience to meet someone (two people, actually) that experienced quite possibly the most horrific experience in their life, and all this lady did was SMILE! Amazing!

After saying goodbye to this couple, and getting my car.... I took the girls to the Anne Frank exhibit. Maddie was.... well, a pain in the butt. Katie read all the paragraphs & photographs shown. There wasn't any"thing" that came from Anne Frank's possessions that were there, but there were two wooden suitcases that were on display. A US woman & her husband were living in Germany back in the 1970's and while redecorating her place, found these wooden suitcases. After much conversations, they were found to be from Jewish people in hiding who left them in these hiding places.

I've always been touched by the story of Anne Frank. She read that Germany (or another country) was looking to publish diaries after the war, so she started from scratch & created a new diary with the hopes of being a published writer, and appropriately called it "The Secret Annex". I especially love it when she wrapped up her diary with this:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.


  1. That is pretty cool. Soon enough that generation will die out and non of the survivors will be left. I am so glad we live in a country where we can be our own religion! I guess we truly don't know how hard some people have it!

  2. that is such a great story. on a trip to Europe, Bob and I went to Dachau (a concentration camp outside of Munich) and to the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam. Needless to say, they were both extremely moving experiences. I think it's great that you're educating your girls...they're getting to the age when they're ready to read the Diary of Anne Frank too.

  3. Wow Amy, amazing. Experiences like that don't happen often, and I think it's great you turned it into a learning experience for your girls. What a humbling day that must have been!

    What day are you arriving? Are you still coming in on the 69? We'd love to see you!!

  4. Wow, that is such an amazing experience. I think it is awesome that you got a chance to go to the Anne Frank exhibit. I really love reading this post!

  5. Amy thanks for sharing that story with us. What a amazing story.
    Miss Emily is doing a report in Ann Frank for school. OH i wish we had that Exhibit.


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