Tag Archives: escape

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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1st Sketch Composition Art Of War


A 1st sketch of my photo composition – a train car with (rescued) deportees during the holocaust – for the Art Of War competition by the Kazerne Dossin museum in Mechelen , Belgium – the final work will be a photo after some more rearrangements of the portraits and some more color , light editing (some blending options shown here in this video).  ① memo 20180125 ~ 1st Sketch Composition Art Of War

A different composition ( mvdb20110422_transport-XX ) was first published Jan 27th, 2013 on my site in “We have the right to escape

Crescendo A Cappella – Al Kol Ele


① memo 20170428 ~ Crescendo A Cappella — Al Kol Ele ~ The Crescendo Boortmeerbeek Choir sings “Al Kol Ele” a cappella during the Transport XX commemoration May 15 , 2011 in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium – Film : Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com

Last Post


① memo 20170425 ~ Last Post ~ Boortmeerbeek’s trumpet player Freddy Verschueren at the Transport XX commemoration last Sunday – April 23 , 2017 – Boortmeerbeek , Belgium

Al Kol Ele


① memo 20170424 ~ Al Kol Ele ~ Boogie Boy and the Crescendo choir (conductor : Urbain Van Asch) sing “Al Kol Ele” during the Transport XX commemoration yesterday – April 23 , 2017 – in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium – Film : Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com

Zog Nit Keyn Mol


① memo 20170423 ~ Zog Nit Keyn Mol ~ The Crescendo choir (conductor : Urbain Van Asch) sings “Zog nit keyn mol” – Never Say … the Yiddish Partisan Song with lyrics written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick – during the Transport XX commemoration today in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium
Film : Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com

background

Tomasz Herzog ‘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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Never say that you are walking the final road,
Though leaden skies obscure blue days;
The hour we have been longing for will still come,
Our steps will drum – we are here!

From green palm-land to distant land of snow,
We arrive with our pain, with our sorrow,
And where a spurt of our blood has fallen,
There will sprout our strength, our courage.

The morning sun will tinge our today with gold,
And yesterday will vanish with the enemy,
But if the sun and the dawn are delayed –
Like a watchword this song will go from generation to generation.

This song is written with blood and not with lead,
It’s not a song about a bird that is free,
A people, between falling walls,
Sang this song with pistols in their hands.

So never say that you are walking the final road
Though leaden skies obscure blue days.
The hour we have been longing for will still come –
Our steps will drum – we are here!
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Reference: Shirli Gilbert, Music in the Holocaust: Confronting Life in the Nazi Ghettos and Camps, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 71.

Source: http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/…/vilna/zog-nit-keynmol/

International School for Holocaust Studies acquired films

International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem , Jerusalem , Israel - Photo : Yad Vashem

International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem , Jerusalem , Israel – Photo : Yad Vashem

The media collection of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies acquired this month – July 2016 – the DVDs of two of our documentary films :

1) The 2016 film of the premiere play “Celui Qui M’A Rendu Mon Âme” – the French-spoken adaptation of the play “Who returned my soul… “ originally by Kelly D. Brock – that retells the stories of 10 holocaust survivors – now by students of the Saint-Sépulcre school in Liege , Belgium (Philippe Renette – Centre Scolaire S2J.eu / Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com). Online available and documented via this post CELUI QUI M’A RENDU MON ÂME.

2) The 2012 documentary “Transport XX to Auschwitz” – a film by Karen Lynne & Richard Bloom and Michel van der Burg. The attack on this 20th deportation train in Belgium – by three young men – the rescue, and the many escapes and escape attemps are documented in this film by the first-hand accounts of one of the attackers, people that jumped from the train and survivors who returned from Auschwitz. The film is online available and fully documented via this post Documentary film “Transport XX to Auschwitz”.

Link to the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem , Jerusalem , Israel