portraits

NewYork Day 1

In On the Road in NY on June 17, 2010 at 3:35 am

So we are back on the road. Met Harry at JFK, picked up a rental car and made our way to Lynbrook via printed out google directions and then stopping at Starbucks to go online and see a map. we made it.

First stop – Sarah, a 71 year old child survivor from Poland who spent the war years in Uzbekistan. Sarah and her husband Ted welcomed us very warmly into their home with delicious homemade cookies and iced tea on arrival. Sarah is a counsellor and says she has only really spoken about her war years in the last 15 years. When asked what she would say to other survivors of genocide in terms of living their lives, Sarah says you just do – what’s the alternative? you can go on with your life – nothing should totally demolish you.

We next made our way to see 85 year old Olga  in Long Beach. Barry, Olga’s son asked us to include Olga. We are so glad we could. When we arrived we were welcomed by Olga, her two sons and her grandson. It was very obvious how much the family cherishes her. Olga says friendship is what got her through the war years. She says there were many times in the concentration camp Auschwitz where she wanted to throw herself on the electric barbed wire but her friends stopped her and reminded her of her two sisters in America – they said she had a reason to live.

Our last stop for the day was in Lawrence to meet with 82 year old Gail. Gail was not exactly expecting us and when we arrived we stumbled upon a very serious card game with 5 of Gail’s friends – all Holocaust survivors. It was like walking in on the Golden Girls. Gail was very gracious and still managed to participate in the project. Harry caught the last moments of light  on the balcony. An Auschwitz survivor, Gail has a number on her left arm. When I told her I was pregnant she said isn’t it incredible that I am producing a fourth generation. I had not thought of that till now.

It’s been a long day – up at 5.30am and Harry is still on UK time so we are both knackered. But it does feel great to be back on the road again, meeting this wonderful, strong, unique group of people and working on this amazing project. It is a labour of love.

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  1. Nice work on the blog Mim…..
    Glad we can keep you company on this journey and hear about your adventures and reflections with fresh perspective

  2. Miriam, you are amazing. So special that you are not only doing this but are allowing us to share the journey with your blog. I look forward to daily inspirations.

  3. Blog looks great Mimi. NY leg sounds great so far, have no doubt you’re in your element. Looking fwd to the next post. xx

  4. Hi Mim,
    great hearing from you and your project in this way……
    much love from Karima

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