Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Hanukkah

I have some amazing Jewish ancestors with heroic and gruesome stories to tell. And, although I am not religious, it being Hanukkah is the perfect time to share.

Both my father's grandparents were able to escape Poland and the Hungry before things escalated and the World Wars began. They were in the United States by 1914, well away from the Nazis and Germany.
But quickly things turned scary and then terrible for the Jews in Europe. The only way they could immigrate to the United States was to be sponsored by a US citizen. Thousands of refuges were being turned away every year.

But my great-grandparents sponsored them, as many as they could find, as many as needed help. At the end of my Great-Grandfather's life, they had sponsored over 50 European Jews to start a new life here in the US.

These new immigrants had witnessed struggles beyond comprehension, many had lost family members to murder, so had been in concentration camps, others had run from Nazis, seeing their entire family shot beside them.

Horrific and terrible, and yet they all came to the United States looking for a new life, a new start.

Happy Hanukkah. Let love conquer all.

More detailed stories of these amazing people can be found on this old post, still one of my favorites.

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