Tag Archives: transport xx

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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PUSH Coming to Brussels Opera House Monnaie | Munt

① memo 20180319 ~ PUSH Coming to Brussels Opera House Monnaie | Munt ~
Good news ! The community opera PUSH (written by composer Howard Moody) inspired by the true story of Simon Gronowski , a boy whose mother pushed him off the ‘Transport XX’ train heading to Auschwitz in 1943 – an action that saved his life and gave the opera its name – is now programmed in Simon’s hometown in March 2019 in the De Munt | La Monnaie opera house of Brussels .

Howard had met Simon, now in his 80s, in Brussels and promised to write an opera based on his life. PUSH tells this story but also deals with much broader themes of persecution.
After the world premiere of PUSH in 2016 in the UK , and a recent second performance in , Howard Moody once again brings together professional musicians and amateur performers – both adults and children – from the UK and Belgium in a unique theatrical experience.

Push! Push!
Push your child off the edge!
[…]
My mother gave birth to me twice
Pushing me towards freedom and life

More info / links

PUSH in Brussels 2019

The full film ‘Transport XX to Auschwitz’ is presented online here at this site 

PUSH opera premiere in the UK 2016

Ma vie n’est que miracles. My life is only miracles

A full documentary on Simon’s life , the film Miracles is in production now – more soon on Miracles.Media

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

Kazerne Dossin Frontpage 2012


Kazerne Dossin Frontpage 2012 ~ Kazerne Dossin site 5 years ago – frontpage August 26th , 2012 … waiting for opening of the new museum in a few months – with short film Transport XX – face to face.
Thanks to WayBackMachine – Internet Archive.
(By the way you can donate this non-profit organization .. I did tonight – here link to kazerne dossin cache moment http://web.archive.org/web/20120826061626/http://kazernedossin.be/ )

Full details of short film here :  TRANSPORT XX – installation Brussels

The film ‘Transport XX – face to face’ was presented by Kazerne Dossin from January 2010 – ca 2012 on the site of the Task Force For International Cooperation On Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF , now the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), and on the frontpage of the Kazerne Dossin site from January 2011 – ca October 2012.

Till Eulenspiegel


① memo 20171117 ~ Till Eulenspiegel ~ The Antwerp avant garde artist ‘Lon’ Leon Landau made a puppet theater for the children in the Kazerne Dossin transit camp , with 12 puppets like this marionette Till Eulenspiegel (Tijl Uilenspiegel) – and Robin Hood which I published previously [ https://michelvanderburg.com/2017/07/29/lons-puppet-show/ ] . However, Lon was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 , before the puppet show could took place. Filmed November 15, 2013 in Kazerne Dossin , Mechelen , Belgium.

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 .

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

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.