Monday, April 20, 2009

The Hero

I met her today. The lady who helped several Jewish families during the war. Her family hid the Jews, brought them food, saved them from labor camps. Amazing. She kept going on and on about her experiences, I kept jotting down everything she said. I felt so mad because I did not have a camera with me. We agreed that I will put together some questions and we will meet more so that I can record everything she remembers. It is truly amazing and humbling to see and hear how much and how precisely she remembers. Names, faces, places, emotions...everything. She is 81 years old and her brain works as if she was 25.

I cannot wait to share what she shared with me but I will need time to make it into a concise and coherent document. I am really excited about her and her stories. We spent 3 hours together today and she did most of the talking. And I did not realize so much time has passed. I could feel how important it was for her to really tell it to someone who really listens. She said her dad -- the person who actually saved several lives -- had been brought to court after the war because someone found Jewish wealth in his property -- wealth he tried to save for his Jewish fellow citizens. Jews whose lives he saved witnessed for him and saved him from jail.

He moved out of his house to give it up for Jews to hide in it. He made fake documents for the Jews. He was a real and true hero in my terms. He died long ago. His daughter, T, was told he'd receive a thank you note from the people of Israel for what he did for the Jews of Budapest but he never received it. Probably because they were not able to find him, he changed addresses since the war and later he passed away. I would love to help T get this note from Israel because she knows her dad was a hero, and I know it, and probably a lot of other people do but I really would love for T to receive such an honor. They have risked their lives, after all. Because they cared.

It is such an interesting and exciting and, at the same time, horrifying story. All of it. I think today has changed me and my vision of the world once again. T is a great, intelligent, caring and loving person. I am glad I met her and I am glad she shared her story with me. I can't wait to record it so everyone who is interested can hear her story. It is really worth it.

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