Thanksgiving Day 2014

We returned home this past Monday night from a meaningful speaking visit to Germany. We had arrived in Germany on Sunday night, November 9th, just in time for the Town of Hoya’s yearly commemoration of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), held on the site where our synagogue once stood. There were readings and talks by students and townspeople. There was singing by students in Hebrew, led by teacher Monika Stollman, of Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, literally meaning "We bring peaceful greetings to you.” The music of Karen Christoph & Thomas Denker, talented and personable Klezmer musicians, was also heard. Lighted memorial candles were placed by students along the long triangular synagogue memorial which reads, “You are now standing on Jewish soil.”

Monday night at the Community Center, Mayor Anna Sophie Wasner presented me with an Honorary Citizenship Certificate to Hoya, my hometown until I was 4 years old, when our family was “forced” to leave, which led to 6 years of privation and suffering.  But on this particular Monday night, there was an impressive and moving ceremony, attended by many dignitaries and townspeople. I could feel the warmth and love of so many fine people working diligently to redress events that happened here some 70 years ago.

Of course I had the opportunity to speak to and with students in middle and high schools. The students were most attentive, respectful and responsive. Cogent questions were asked. Nathaniel took many photos, a few of which are included in this newsletter, and many SELFIES were taken!

There was an interruption in my schedule, caused by a fall in which I suffered severe damage to my right hand. The surgeon and staff at the Klinikum Hospital in Braunschweig, were skilled and personable professionals, who provided wonderful medical care for the 5 days that I was in their charge. You can see in one of the photos my VERY bandaged right hand and arm as I posed with students after a post-hospital presentation.

My sincere gratitude to my dear, dear friends Heike & Hans Huth and family, to Mayor Wasner, Elfriede Horneker, Detlef Meyer, Eike Reiche, Dr. Tietjen, Herr Bittner, Herr Landsman, Henry Meyer, Renate Schumacher, Klara Lowvincz, Barbara & Fritz Schulz, the Klinikum medical staff, and so many others, for making Nathaniel and me feel like long-time, honored, and close friends.

And, lastly,  to our dear friend, Tjalke Notermans, thank you for making the trip from your home in Holland to be with us, and for once again bringing the many tulip bulbs to be planted by my school to grace the schools grounds with the beautiful tulips which will bloom in Springtime!

It is the people that I have mentioned that make this a wonderful world in which to live, and makes this year’s Thanksgiving Day so special and meaningful for me.

And I wish you, too, dear friends, a meaningful and thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving Day Holiday!

Many Hugs, Marion