Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust survivor’

A Holocaust Survivor Reaches Out to Others

February 14, 2018

holocaust - yellow starAs one who went through the nightmare, Tziporah Abramowitz (77) is more capable than anyone else to connect to the depths of the souls of the holocaust survivors in order to to help them with the emotional challenge of coping daily with the horrible memories, which do not leave them alone for a moment. She has become a beloved volunteer at Ezer Mizion’s social club for holocaust survivors. Her encouragement, her compliments, her ability to engage the members and her weekly presentation on the Parsha all serve to bring that elusive smile to the faces of these elderly victims of a horror that defies description.

Tziporah was one of those saved by Raoel Wallenburg. She was hidden, together with hundreds of children, in the cellar of one of the many buildings rented by Mr. Wallenburg. In the 17trh century there had been a terrible fire in London that killed many. When the “Pest’ section of Budapest was built, it was required that from every building, there would be a way to escape to another building. This area was thus blessed with a network of secret underground escape routes of which the Germans were not aware. When the Gestapo would come to one building, the children were quickly smuggled to another. The escape routes also proved invaluable at the end of the war. The Russians has surrounded Budapest for two months but were afraid to enter the city due to street fighting that would end in death as they were threatened by Hitler. When they were informed of the escape network, the problem was solved. They surprised the Germans and took over Budapest.

We were so weak. I couldn’t walk. My older brother asked a Russian soldier for food and he kindly gave us a loaf of bread even though the soldiers didn’t have much themselves. We lived on that bread for a week. I was so sick with ringworm. The skin all over my body was eroded. The doctor said I needed penicillin to live but there was none. Only in the black market. My father had escaped from the camp and joined the partisans. He was caught and was beaten till his teeth were knocked out. Now that the war was over, he laboriously made his way back to our little village. With him, he brought two things: meat and a gun. With those, we could obtain all our needs. Now my father went to the druggist and told him that he must obtain penicillin for me. If he would, he would receive lard from the meat. If he wouldn’t, he’d receive a bullet. The threat frightened the druggist. When my father returned that night, the druggist had obtained a generous supply of penicillin which saved my life.

“Even though we could have gone to America, my father did not want to live in what he called a foreign land,” continues Tziporah.   ‘It took a long time to reach Eretz Yisroel but Eretz Yisroel was home. Right after the war, people had come to my village and were fed by my mother who prepared huge pots for all the starving Yidden. This is how I was brought up. My home was always a place of chessed. Now it is my turn to give.  I am gratified to be a part of Ezer Mizion, an organization that accomplishes so much.”

 

 

 

 

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The Other End of the World?

July 12, 2017

people helping people around globe“But he’s at the other end of the world!”

“No problem,” said the experienced Ezer Mizion staff member. “Just watch.”

Here’s the story. A woman with cancer was in need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life. She needed it asap. Now! Not in a few months. Eldad had been identified by the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registry as a genetic match but further testing was needed. Simple. A few tubes of blood and the test will be done. But what if the potential donor is happily vacationing in Cancun, Mexico? Do we wait till he returns? And take a chance on the patient’s condition changing for the worse? Do we take a chance on another person’s life?!

The Registry staff member contacted another Ezer Mizion division, Linked to Life which operates a What’s App program around the globe. Lights flashed. Cell phones buzzed. A Linked to Life member responded that he is in Cancun and planning to travel for New York that day. The blood was drawn by a local lab and transported to NY by the L2L member. Now, Ronit , office manager for the CEO of El Al in New York and another Linked to Life volunteer, came on the scene. Ronit contacted Yoram, director of El Al representatives in the U.S. Yoram got the head of the station at Kennedy Airport, and security officer Tal involved in the operation. On Thursday, after receiving the test tubes from Mexico via the first L2L volunteer, El Al representatives in N.Y. traveled to Israel and handed over the precious test tubes to Ezer Mizion.

The other side of the world? No problem when good-hearted Jews around the globe are linked together.

Based in Israel, L2L receives hundreds of calls daily. Come join us at the dispatch center. A call just came in. A grandmother, accompanied by her daughter, needs ride to the clinic.  The volunteer that responded later contacted the Ezer Mizion office to say thank you “These are real mentschen. They didn’t stop apologizing for taking my time. They were so grateful. .The grandmother is past the age of 90. At the time of the Holocaust, she was 17 years old. She had been through Auschwitz, work camps and Bergen-Belsen. She told me about her mother and little sister who were murdered in Auschwitz. ‘When I close my eyes, I don’t ‘just remember’ things; I literally see them happening.’ This tiny lady didn’t give up. She went on to establish a family which now consists of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and continues to give and give. “I broke my arm recently and for a period, I couldn’t bake cakes for my grandchildren’s families. It made me sad but I’m back ‘in business’ now. As they opened the car door at the clinic amid a flurry of humble thank-you’s to me, I thanked Hashem for the zchus of having such a diamond in my car.

 

Another buzz at 1:30 AM. This one an emergency. A woman was unable to breathe and required immediate assistance. An ambulance had arrived and determined that hospital treatment was needed. But getting her there was impossible due to her wide girth. A large stretcher was needed. Ezer Mizion was contacted.  Does anyone in your Linked to Life Group have one? In moments I was wide awake and dressed. Together with the paramedics, we lifted the patient onto my stretcher and transported her to the hospital in time to receive the treatment she needed.

Alone? Never! No Jew is ever alone when his fellow Jews are Linked to Life.

Like to join? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

For further info: www.ezermizionusa.org       5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                               718 853 8400