I belong to a Holocaust Survivors email list that travels around the globe online helping Survivors find other Survivors. More than six years ago I received an email about a young man who wanted to start a library in Cracow, Poland and needed help filling the shelves with Jewish books. Seems he was raised Christian to save his life. Finding out as an adult that his biological parents were Jewish, he was determined to make this happen.
As much as I love my books, I’ve learned to share over the years and this seemed extremely important. I boxed up a huge box of books that included my college freshman Children’s Literature anthology (that was 30 years old) and my Bat Mitzvah prayer book (which was even older). Books are one of my great loves, so there were many books that had been on my shelves for many years.
It was important I told myself and left for the Post Office, almost leaving when they asked me to fill out a huge amount of paperwork for custom’s reasons. Never heard anything, assumed my good deed was in a black hole somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic.
While casually searching Google the other night for the three blogs I’ve created, to see what is being sent out to the universe (by me), I came upon this website in Poland which had my name attached. Being unbelievably curious and not knowing Polish, I used Google translator.
Copy, paste, click, read. Copy, paste, click, read. I had no idea what happened to my book box until now. On Google.com it says ”darczyncy” and my name. The Rabbi Remuh Jewish Library was established in June 2005 and it is the only Jewish Library in Cracow open to everyone.
I am listed as a donor. OMG was all I could pray through all the tears. What makes this so special is my Dad Berek Nathan was born in Warsaw. His entire family – brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles died in the Holocaust. He was the only living survivor. Saving himself by running to the forest while the Nazis were kicking his brother to death in the streets of Poland. He was 15. Berek Nathan died August 2005 at age 87. A Painter’s Daughter is listed amongst these poems as a small tribute to him. He was my Hero. At least some of his books are back in Poland at a Jewish Library where they always belonged.
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