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Friday, 4 May 2012

Fw: Fwd: Fw: Girl with an Apple (true story)


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 "LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WAITING FOR THE STORMS TO PASS, BUT ABOUT DANCING IN THE RAIN"
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> This is definitely a MUST READ..........amazing true story
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> A GIRL WITH AN APPLE (TRUE STORY)
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> (This is a true story and you can find out more by Googling Herman Rosenblat. He was Bar Mitzvahed at age 75)
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> August 1942. Piotrkow, Poland.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, 'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen.
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> 'I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.
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> An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, and then asked my age.
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> 'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.
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> My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.
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> 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.
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> 'Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.'
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> 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.
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> My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany ...
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> We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night later and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers.
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> 'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.'
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> 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.
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> Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald 's sub-camps near Berlin ...
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> 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.
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> But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in German. 'Do you have something to eat?'
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> She didn't understand.
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> 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.
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> She pulled an apple from her woollen 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.'
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> 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.
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> We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us both.
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> 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?
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> 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.
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> Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia .
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> 'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.'
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> 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.
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> We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed.
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> On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.
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> 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.
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> I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.
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> 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;
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date. 'A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> 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 favour. 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.
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> We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat.
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> 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?'
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> 'The camps,' I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss..I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.
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> 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.'
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> I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world.
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> '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!'
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> I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it! My angel.
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> '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.
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> 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.
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> 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.
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> Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach , Florida
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> This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.
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> This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people world-wide.
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> Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it
> around the world.
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> Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to
> continue the memorial chain.
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> Please don't just delete it.
> It will only take you a minute to pass this along. Thanks!
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