In Ashkenazic tradition, babies are named after those that died. Yoav is named for my grandfather's uncle - Yehoshua - and he carries on the "Y" "R" (י.ר.) initials that my father, my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather had. My new nephew, Asher, is named for my Papa Albert and Bubba Licha. Every child in my family is named after someone. I was named after the great Bubbies Esther. There were two of them named Esther and my grandparents used to joke around that if I was good, I was named after my Bubba's grandmother; if I was bad, I was named after my Zeidy's grandmother.
|Lola Rubin (far left) in the ghetto|
As I look at Yoav, I can see a hint of red hair - which comes from my Papa's side of the family. I can see the square chin that comes from my Bubba's side of the family. Today, of all days, I can feel the presence of those I never had the pleasure of knowing.
|Lola Rubin, before and during the Holocaust|
|Amalia and Solomon Kaulfer. Amalia was murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz.|
As survivors die, their stories die with them. I'm lucky enough to know some family stories but there are some stories my grandparents will take to their graves. Stories that are too horrific to share with anyone. When my Zeidy would recount his time in the ghetto and his time in the camps, you could see that he veered off to a land he wanted to forget. My Papa (Z"L) never wanted to share his stories. My Bubba (Z"L) wanted us to know what life was like for her during the war. My Grandma wanted her granddaughters to know that she survived by trusting her female instinct and by digging deep within her to find the strength needed to live.
|Helen and Antal Schwarcz with children Margit and Bela. ALL murdered in the Holocaust.|
NEVER FORGET. These words mean everything to me and I take them seriously. Do you?