Special Guest Speaker – Author, LOIS LOWRY visited FRCS on Sunday, April 22, 2018.
In spite of everything he endured to survive the Holocaust, 92-year old Sam Weinreb still believes, “You must always have hope.” Almost a hundred supporters of the Holocaust Stamps Project gathered last Sunday at Foxborough Regional Charter School to hear Weinreb share his personal story.
His life changed forever the day he returned from a Bar Mitzvah lesson near his Bratislava, Czechoslovakia home and found that the Nazis had captured his family. He never saw them again. Thirteen year old Weinreb made his way to Hungary and lived on the streets, begging for work and food, eventually seeking help from the police. They imprisoned him for the next two years, after which time he was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. His name was replaced with the number A4659.
Sam was identified as strong enough to work. This saved him from being grouped with the elderly, mothers with children, and others deemed to be too weak, who were led to “the showers” where thousands were murdered every day in the gas chambers.
“One night, we were all awakened in the middle of the night and told to get ready at once. Outside it was snowy and icey, but we were ordered to march out of the camp, and keep marching.” He explained that the guards made it abundantly clear that those who could not stay on their feet would die. After three days, in the dark of night, he ran away from the line of marchers. “I was no longer afraid to die.”
Fortunately, the unconscious teenager was found in the forest and rescued by compassionate Russian soldiers. After World War II ended, Sam Weinreb came to America. He settled with distant cousins in western Pennsylvania where they taught him the family business and made it possible to make a new life for himself.
He married a young woman named Goldie, whom he had known as a child. With a warm smile, Sam told the audience, “Sixty-seven years we’re together now.”
Misha Joukowsky, guest speaker, May 1, 2016 HSP Open House
(Pictured above (Left to Right), FRCS Leadership and Service Coordinator / HSP Director, Jamie Droste, Speaker Misha Joukowsky, HSP Founder, Charlotte Sheer)
As a small child, Misha remembers his grandmother, Martha Sharp, often asked him, “What great thing are you going to do for the world?” That question provided the foundation for his personal set of values in which honesty, integrity and kindness are paramount.
Martha was from Providence, Rhode Island and attended Pembroke College (now Brown University) on a full scholarship. She married Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
In 1939, Vice President of the American Unitarian Association, invited the couple to accept a special mission in Europe to rescue refugees, including Jewish children, from the Nazis. Seventeen other couples had refused to go, but the Sharps agreed to leave their own two small children in the care of parishioners while they made the trip to Czechoslovakia, a country in the midst of destruction.
The details of their harrowing experience, and the effect it had on their individual lives and marriage, is detailed in the new (2016) Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky documentary film, “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps War” scheduled to air on PBS in September, 2016.
For their heroic actions to save Jewish lives, Misha’s grandparents, Martha and Waitstill Sharp, have been declared “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in Israel. They are among more than 26,000 non-Jewish individuals from 51 countries who have been so recognized. As of early 2016, only five Americans, including the Sharps had received this extraordinary honor.
We are grateful to Mr. Jakouwsky for sharing his grandparents’ inspiring story of courage and humanity.
Lisa Einstein, granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, Guest speaker, HSP Open House – April 12, 2015
(Pictured above (Left to Right), Speaker Lisa Einstein, HSP Founder, Charlotte Sheer and FRCS Leadership and Service Coordinator/HSP Director Jamie Droste)
As a member of Boston 3G, Lisa Einstein, of Sharon, is committed to “preserving the memories and the legacy of the Holocaust from the perspective of the third generation (survivors).”
Her grandmother, Eva Reisner, (“Savta” in Hebrew), never talked about the pain and trauma she and her family endured while growing up as Jews in Hungary during World War II. But during a trip to Israel, Einstein discovered that her grandmother had participated in a program that documented her personal story from childhood to immigration, including what life was like during the Holocaust. Einstein worked for a year translating the video to learn the incredible story of the astonishing challenges her grandmother had lived through.
The family lost everything when the Nazis seized her grandparents’ business and relocated them, first to ghettos and then to concentration camps. Sadly, she said, such cruel treatment was commonplace during the Holocaust.
When the cattle-car train delivered the 21 year old Hungarian to Auschwitz, Eva had no idea where she was, but she thought maybe this was where she would find the family members from whom she had been separated, so she had a small glimmer of hope.
“As she got off the train there was a man positioning (newly arrived Jews) in two lines – one was the line of mercy; one was the line of death. If you went to the left you went to the (gas chamber) showers; if you went to the right you were in the line of mercy. My grandmother went to the line of mercy.”
In her gripping narrative, Einstein described the extraordinary story of how Eva and her three sisters’ escaped from the camps.
The details of Eva Reisner’s story can be found online at <http://boston3g.org/eva-reisner-grandmother-of-lisa-einstein/>
The Holocaust Stamps Project is grateful to Lisa for sharing her grandmother’s harrowing story of resilience despite the inconceivable acts of inhumanity to which she and her family were subjected.
In January 2014, representatives from the Olde Boston Chapter of the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century arrived in period costume to personally deliver their stamp donation for the Holocaust Stamps Project. The mission of their organization is “to aid in the education of the youth of our country”.
Wearing her red cape, Ellen McGrath, President of the local chapter which is based in Norwood , wearing her nurses cape member Carol Sansone and in the blue and yellow dress member Saundra O’Malley from Westwood were amazed to see how large our stamps collection had grown since their last visit. They were very impressed with the newly completed Holocaust-related stamps collages, and the students they met.
Holocaust Survivor Speaks at 2013 FRCS Community Event
Local Historian Tours FRCS, Donates to Holocaust Stamps Project
Recently FRCS greeted New England Newspaper and Press Association, Hall of Fame member Jack Authelet and his wife Marge. They brought with them several meaningful donations and toured our campus. They asked thoughtful questions and shared stories about the stamps they were donating, collected by friends and family.
In his retirement Mr. Authelet is serving as the Historian for the Town of Foxborough. After reading a recent article by Christine Igo Freeman in The Foxboro Reporter, Mr. & Mrs. Authelet selected FRCS as the recipient for the following donations:
- Stamp Collection
- Writings by Mr. Authelet
- Souvenirs from the U. S. Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C.
Click here to read Mr. Authelet’s article “Eye Witness to History – Irma Geissler Harrington” an inspiring, moving life story about an amazing resident of Foxborough.
FRCS Holocaust Stamps Project Milestone Reached
Additionally Benjamin’s father posted an emotional entry on his personal blog about their family’s unique connection to this time in history, which you can read here.
Special Thanks to Special Donors….
In October, 2012, representatives from the Olde Boston Chapter of the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century arrived in period costume to personally deliver 1855 stamps for the Holocaust Stamps Project. The mission of their organization is “to aid in the education of the youth of our country”.
Ellen McGrath, President of the local chapter which is based in Norwood , and member Carol Sansone, were amazed to see the accumulated stamps collection, of almost 1.5 million stamps, being stored in huge plastic tote boxes. They were very impressed with the five colorful Holocaust-related stamps collages, created by FRCS students in grade 5 to 8 during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Mrs. Jamie Droste, FRCS Student Life Advisor, and retired FRCS teacher, Charlotte Sheer, who began the Project four years ago, accept the stamps donation from Ellen McGrath, President, and Carol Sansone, of the Olde Boston Chapter, National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century.|
“An evening with Eva Paddock, Holocaust Survivor”
On April 4, 2012 FRCS welcomed Holocaust Survivor Eva Paddock for a very special FRCS Community Event…Eva Paddock, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, had an amazing story to tell.
Special thanks to BOSTON 3G for their assistance in making this program possible. BOSTON 3G gratefully accepts donations to support their ongoing programs and to continue the work of this Boston-based group for Grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.