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Full of Life … Escape from Transport XX


① memo 20180419 ~ Full of Life … Escape from Transport XX ~ Today 75 years ago , that night of April 19th, 1943 in Belgium , Elias Gnazik helped jump the pregnant Isabella Weinreb from the fast moving 20th train heading for Auschwitz. Viviane – meaning ‘full of life’ – was born 6 months later.
Discussion – moderated by Ingrid Vander Veken – of Simone Korkus’ dutch book “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle” on 15 oktober 2017 in Kazerne Dossin , Mechelen , Belgium.
This new short film (with english captions / partly english spoken) highlights our discussion in that ‘Literary Cafe’ on Oct. 15, 2017 in Kazerne Dossin, of Elias’ rescue of Isabella and Vivian ; it continues with our visit later to the Kazerne Dossin portrait wall (portrait’s of deported people) with Simone Korkus and Jan Maes (the first to point Simone to Hannah’s story) ; and ends with me having a short improvised talk in english with a visitor’s couple .
Film ① memo 20180419 ~ Full of Life ~ Michel van der Burg | michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com | miracles.media

Isabella Weinreb Castegnier was three-months pregnant that night – 75 years ago – on April 19th, 1943 in Belgium – when she froze the moment she had to jump from the fast moving 20th train heading for Auschwitz ( Transport XX to Auschwitz ). The man waiting in line behind her , did not hesitate for a moment , and embracing her from behind , pushed her out – jumping together they both landed in a ditch.

Isabella escaped with a broken wrist and bruises all over her body, but otherwise without major injuries. Her daughter Viviane – meaning “full of life”, and named so for her will to live and hold tight in her mother’s womb – was born six months later on October 30, 1943.

That man saving Isabella and Viviane was Elias Gnazik – we discovered recently in a joint effort – when Simone Korkus had almost finished her book about the life of Elias’ daughter Hannah Gnazik , and contacted me to find out who that woman was that Elias Gnazik helped jump and escape from that cattle car of Transport XX to Auschwitz. For Simone it was a great honor to bring Hannah and Viviane together – the child of the rescuer , and the child of the rescued pregnant woman.
This new story became the epilogue in Simone’s book , written in dutch , called ‘Het Dienstmeisje Van Degrelle’.
During the discussion at the presentation of Simone’s newest book – interviewed by Ingrid Vander Veken – in the Kazerne Dossin museum I asked Simone to tell us something about this spectacular story of the probably youngest that escaped that death train.

Background

Simone Korkus (author , reporter) contacted me via facebook messenger May 2016 asking for information about Mrs Lilly (Wolkenfeld) Schwartz , and telling me Mrs Schwartz had escaped from Transport XX from the same car as Elias Gnazik , the father of Hannah (Gnazik) Nadel.
Simone had actually finished the writing of the story of Hannah (Gnazik) Nadel for her new dutch book “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle.” but felt she would like to get to know more about Hannah’s father Elias activities in the war.
Mrs Lilly (Wolkenfeld) Schwartz had helped me and Richard from 2011 with our documentary Transport XX to Auschwitz (published 2012, a film by Karen Lynne & Richard Bloom and Michel van der Burg). Mrs Schwartz, unfortunately, had passed away in 2014 .
However , I could help Simone with the story of Mrs Schwartz’s friend Isabella – who had escaped too , right after Mrs Schwartz’s jumped from that car – while being pregnant – with a baby born 6 months after that escape, and named Viviane , meaning ‘full of life’ !
That miraculous story I had first worked on and published together with Viviane in 2014.
Further research by Simone , with the help of Viviane and the researchers of Kazerne Dossin, let Simone to the insight that Isabella had been that pregnant woman Elias Gnazik had helped jumping , and he thus , too had saved Viviane’s life !
Simone Korkus details this beautiful finding and miraculous story in a final chapter – the Epilogue – of her new book , the research , findings , conclusion and her witnessing the emotional meeting of the daughters of the rescuer and rescued in Ramat Gan , Israel.

Sources / links

Viviane Castegnier Yarom & Michel van der Burg (2014) Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story.
Michel van der Burg online publication (michelvanderburg.com) link https://wp.me/p14gqN-nq

Simone Korkus (2017) “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle. Hoe Hannah Nadel de oorlog overleefde” Paperback ISBN 978-94-6310-093-9 / E-book ISBN 978-94-6310-300-8
Polis publisher – fragment online – https://issuu.com/uitgeverijpolis/docs/preview_het_dienstmeisje_van_degrel

Book presentation – On Oct. 15th , 2017 , Simone Korkus presented her book in Kazerne Dossin , in a ‘Literary Cafe’ conversation with colleague author Ingrid Vander Veken. I published a full video report of that conversation Nov 4, 2017 . All in dutch. Het Dienstmeisje Van Degrelle – Presentatie – link https://wp.me/p14gqN-nhp

Documentary film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” (2012) A film by Karen Lynne & Richard Bloom and Michel van der Burg https://wp.me/p14gqN-hA

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Miracles


Today ‘Miracles’ is announced : our title for the upcoming documentary on Simon Gronowski and Koenraad Tinel !

Today, also, we announce the birth of the Miracles•Media site and new film house !
Miracles•Media is first and foremost for promotion of the Miracles documentary film, and will further serve as platform and online portfolio of other productions.

Ma vie n’est que de miracles – My life is only miracles – Simon Gronowski.

Screening for Belgian ASF volunteers of ‘Transport XX to Auschwitz’

ASF België / Belgique

Our documentary film ‘Transport XX to Auschwitz‘  was screened September 2017 in Brussels for the new volunteers of ASF België / Belgique.
This Belgian ASF association is part of the international network of Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste – in english called : ‘Action Reconciliation Service for Peace‘.

These Belgian ASF one year ‘Service for Peace’ volunteers work a year in both social projects with the elderly, migrants, people with disabilities, and socially vulnerable children , and also historical and educational projects, in eg. museums and memorials , like Kazerne Dossin.

 

Resistance is the current year theme for the ASP – reason enough to pay attention to an unique act of resistance in the history of the Second World War: the attack at Boortmeerbeek on the 20th death train to Auschwitz.
More details and free online viewing  of the film here on this site via this link.

Splash selected for Reykjavík International Film Festival


The “Splash” one minute film is selected for the Reykjavík International Film Festival to be held 28 September – 8 October in Reykjavík , Iceland.

Reykjavík International Film Festival , 28 Sep – 8 Oct 2017

 

2017 RIFF Program

“Splash” will be shown at the festival in The One Minutes Series “Enjoy your file, download your life” curated by Studio David Claerbout.

More info on Splash at this site here in a previous post.

Link to the Press Release by The One Minutes

RIFF AROUND TOWN

One minute films in collaboration with The One Minutes Institute in the Netherlands and shorts will be screened around Reykjavík during the RIFF festival.

Zog nit keynmol – Cartouche


Video published on Apr 19, 2017 – Partison Song – Zog nit keynmol (Ne dis jamais) est le nom de la chanson écrite en 1943 par Hirsh Glick, jeune juif détenu au ghetto de Vilnius apprenant le soulèvement du ghetto de Varsovie contre les nazis. La mélodie est du russe Dmitry Pokrass écrite en 1935

Background *
‘Zog nit keynmol az du geyst dem letstn veg’ (Never say that you are walking the final road), also known as ‘The Partisans’ Song’, is perhaps the best-known of the Yiddish songs created during the Holocaust. It was written by the young Vilna poet Hirsh Glik, and based on a pre-existing melody by the Soviet-Jewish composer Dimitri Pokrass. Inspired by the news of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the song was adopted as the official anthem of the Vilna partisans shortly after it was composed in 1943, and spread with remarkable rapidity to other ghettos and camps. The song is powerful and defiantly optimistic, acknowledging Jewish suffering in the past and present, and urging the Jewish people to continue fighting for their survival. It is one of the most frequently performed songs at Holocaust commemoration ceremonies.

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L’Atelier


① memo 20170131 ~ L’Atelier ~ Short personal impression of last year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Atelier Marcel Hastir. ‘L’Atelier’ hosted the special screening (and Belgium premiere) of the documentary “Transport XX to Auschwitz” Jan 31, 2015 – Brussels, Belgium