Firstly, thanks so much to all you you who sent me links or emailed me with the Phrenology head image. Wow what a nice response I got - just love the blog world.
Secondly thanks Gypsy Purple for highlighting my page for Ingrid on your delicious blog. If any of you have not been there, I suggest you pop in for a visit, it is such a visual treat especially when Gypsy showcases "Look what they made" - highlighting artists and their works from the week. Great idea.
Last night I had the pleasure of spending a Sabbath dinner with a friend of mine Robert who I have known since kindergarten. He asked me a long time ago to do a wall art piece with the subject being his late father, Sam. In all there are about 125 photo's. Yes it will be massive. I have done one of these before and it was not easy but, what the customer wants, the customer get, right?
Anyway last night I spent time with Robert and other members of the family. We discussed Sam and his history albeit briefly. Sam was a Holocaust survivor with yet another unbelievable story of courage and survival.
It's never easy listening to these stories. I always come away feeling like we have it so so easy.
The hardest part was sitting there with Esther holding my hand. Esther is/was Sam's wife and Robert's mother.
One has to be extremely sensitive whilst listening. You have to know the right questions to ask. But more importantly the questions you DON'T ask is more pertinent.
It was decided that I will also be doing an album on Esther's life story for she too is a Holocaust Survivor. NOT ANY HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. For Esther is unofficially the youngest Survivor of Auschwitz.
Why do I say unofficially?
Because as she entered Auschwitz she realised that when asked how old you are, depending on your answer or depending on if you were a very small child or ill etc, you were sent either to the left or the right.
Left meant working and hence survival at least initially upon arrival.
Right meant "Krups" - or immediate death.
What do I mean by "Krups".
You know the brand Krups, they make electrical appliances, coffee machines etc.
Krups brand manufactured concentration camp crematoria in the 1930s and 40s.
Esther lied about her age, instead of saying she was 12 she said 15 - she went to the left.
Last night Esther only spoke in context to meeting Sam. She does speak about what happened at Auschwitz, particularly to school kids. Like my father, her oral testimony was given and put on record for the Steven Spielberg - Shoah (Holocaust) Foundation. She won't discuss the entire horror. After she dies, Esther's Kids will view the tape for the first time. I did tell her that I am about to take my father's tapes to be converted into DVD format - so the kids begged her to give them to me to change-over at the same time - we want our parents' stories to be archivally safe. She is considering it.
Whilst she was holding my hand and I was looking at the number tatooed on her arm, she looked me in the eyes and said, Judy, my darling, YOU, I trust to do this.
What a responsibility.
It's the only tape!!!
I won't let it leave my sight if she eventually hands it over - it's such a big deal for her to do that.
We'll see what happens.
One day in the near future I hope to be able to show you pages from the book I do to honour Esther. There is only one photo (part of it above) of Esther as a child, as she said, "who has photo's, everything was taken from us in Auschwitz" - that was a loaded comment which I understood but I will leave you with that to ponder.