Tag Archives: Isabella Weinreb

Viviane’s Story eBook

Viviane’s Story
Escape from Transport XX…Born 6 Months Later

Today 76 years ago – on the night of the 19th of April in 1943 – Viviane escaped in the womb of her pregnant mother from the Twentieth Train heading for Auschwitz.
Isabella Weinreb-Castegnier was three-months pregnant when she jumped that night in Belgium from the fast moving 20th Death Train to Auschwitz. It was Passover eve and full moon , just like today.

Isabella escaped with a broken wrist and bruises all over her body, but no other 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 in Brussels, Belgium.

This e-booklet presents Viviane’s story with amazing new insights discovered together with the Dutch-Belgian author-reporter Simone Korkus of the man that helped Isabella jump to freedom – Elias Gnazik.

Published today April 19, 2019 by Miracles•Media together with co-publisher Richard Bloom Productions – ISBN 9789493147003

With a foreword by Simone Korkus.

Viviane Yarom-Castegnier & Michel van der Burg
April 19, 2019

Note
The e-book contains several video’s – and is designed specifically for Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, Mac.

Available for download (200 MB zip file) here https://miracles.media/vivianesstory/

Watch the first pages flipping in this video today 😉

Viviane’s Story ebook


Coming soon , the free ebooklet Viviane’s Story by Viviane Yarom-Castegnier & Michel van der Burg from Miracles.Media (publisher).
Viviane escaped 75 years ago in the womb of her pregnant mother from the Twentieth Train to Auschwitz.
Isabella Weinreb Castegnier was three-months pregnant that night of the 19th April 1943 in Belgium, when she jumped from the fast moving 20th Train heading for Auschwitz. 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.
More on Viviane’s story here in “Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story” : https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/ Music : Ameet Kanon singing Ve’Ulai (“And Perhaps”) a capella.
Film ① memo 20190127 ~ Viviane’s Story ebook ~ by Michel van der Burg – Miracles.Media

Viviane & Simon ~ 75 Years After Escape Transport XX to Auschwitz


Viviane and Simon Gronowski meet for the first time in Los Angeles, April 2018 , after they both escaped 75 years ago in the night of April 19th 1943 from that fast moving death train Transport XX to Auschwitz – Simon at the time an 11-year-old boy pushed from the train by his mother Chana , and Viviane still in the womb of her 3-months pregnant mother Isabella.

Today 75 years ago Viviane (meaning ‘full of life’) was born in Brussels – 6 months after she had escaped death that night in April 1943 – thanks to the courage of her pregnant mother Isabella Weinreb , when Isabella jumped in Belgium from that cattle car of Transport XX heading for Auschwitz. She today celebrates her 75th birthday in Los Angeles.

When Simon Gronowski , from Brussels , was visiting LA in April this year – to tell his story and reunite with his childhood friend Alice Weit – Viviane fortunately was able to meet Simon , together with her girls – (grand)daughters – for the first time.

Photo – Simon with Viviane and her girls – thanks to Sébastien De Nys / Viviane
Film ① memo 20181030 ~ Viviane & Simon ~ Michel van der Burg | michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com | miracles.media

More on Viviane’s story here in “Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story” : https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/

A recent finding on the man – Elias Gnazik – saving Isabella and Viviane published April 19th , 2018 , including a film on the dutch book presentation ( Simone Korkus’ dutch book “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle” ) – here online : https://michelvanderburg.com/2018/04/19/full-of-life-escape-from-transport-xx/

More on Simon Gronowski and the documentary Transport XX to Auschwitz here in : Documentary film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” – https://michelvanderburg.com/2013/04/19/transport-xx-to-auschwitz/

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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Het Dienstmeisje Van Degrelle – Presentatie


Interview van Simone Korkus door Ingrid Vander Veken op 15 oktober 2017 in Kazerne Dossin , Mechelen , België , bij de presentatie van haar boek : “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle. Hoe Hannah Nadel de oorlog overleefde” (Polis).
① memo 20171104 ~ Film : Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com

Boek — De Joodse Hannah Nadel belandt tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog als dienstmeisje in het Brusselse huis van de zus van Léon Degrelle en ontsnapt op die manier aan de gruwelen van de Jodenvervolging. Simone Korkus wekt dit onwaarschijnlijke verhaal tot leven, ontmoet Hannahs Belgische redders en toont hoe het leven in oorlogstijd heel wat grijze zones bevat. Terwijl Simone Korkus het leven van Hannah in Brussel reconstrueert, stuit ze op familiegeheimen en loopt ze ook aan tegen haar eigen vooroordelen. Want wat is waarheid in de manier waarop we naar anderen kijken en hun gedrag beoordelen? En hoe vervormt ons geheugen trauma’s zoals die na de Tweede Wereldoorlog?
‘Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle’ is een opmerkelijk en persoonlijk verhaal dat tijdens de bezetting begint en doorloopt tot vandaag.

Interview — Twee schrijfsters, twee journalistes, verwante zielen. En eenzelfde onderwerp: de tweede wereldoorlog en het zwijgen daarover. Ingrid Vander Veken schreef eerder “Zwijgen” en interviewde nu Simone Korkus bij de presentatie van haar boek “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle”. Harold Polis (Uitgeverij Polis waar beide boeken verschenen) introduceerde het gesprek van beide schrijfsters.

Jan Maes , die Simone op het eerste spoor bracht van Hannah’s verhaal , vertelt in de discussie hoe Simone er ook voor gezorgd heeft dat de redders van Hannah en haar moeder de Yad Vashem onderscheiding gekregen hebben.

Ik spreek Simone voor het eerst persoonlijk over de epiloog van haar boek – waarin zij vertelt hoe onze (online) samenwerking heeft geleid tot de ontdekking dat Elias Gnazik , de vader Hannah , op 19 april 1943 in de trein van Transport XX degene was , die de 3 maanden zwangere Isabella Weinreb hielp ontsnappen – door haar te omarmen en samen uit de wagon te springen.
Isabella’s dochter Viviane werd 6 maanden na de ontsnapping ‘vrij’ geboren. Viviane is ontsnapt in de buik van haar moeder , dankzij Elias – een ontsnapping waar ik samen met Viviane voor het eerst over gepubliceerd heb in 2014 op mijn site – https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/ Samen met Simone heeft Viviane vorig jaar Hannah bezocht in Israël.

Binnenkort licht ik dit toe in een speciale korte versie van deze reportage (see Updates below – April 19, 2018) .

Links
Uitgeverij Polis – https://www.polis.be
Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle – Simone Korkus – https://www.polis.be/catalogsearch/result/?q=korkus&cat=0 Paperback ISBN 978-94-6310-093-9
E-book ISBN 978-94-6310-300-8
Fragment boek online – https://issuu.com/uitgeverijpolis/docs/preview_het_dienstmeisje_van_degrel

Updates

April 19, 2018 – Full of Life … Escape from Transport XX

Jan 16, 2019 – Updates section and link added