I was born without grandparents

I am a child of the Holocaust. My parents were orphans of the Holocaust. I was born without grandparents. I grew up without grandparents. They were executed in Auschwitz, after having their hair shaved, tattoos of numbers on their arms and working in labour camps.

I feel my grandparents' despair. They didn't know about their children, they didn't know if their children would survive, they didn't know if their children would be happy.

My dear father, Moshe Walfrid, saw his parents being taken to Auschwitz and he was forced to go play the violin for the Theresienstadt camp. This was a Nazi propaganda camp where visits and films were promoted to try to demonstrate that Jews were treated well.

When the war ended, fortunately my father survived. I calculate the despair of that little one looking for his parents. How does a child accept that his parents have died and that the bodies have been burned in crematory ovens? A child does not believe this. A child believes that their parents are alive and that they will arrive the next day, and then the next day, and so on.

However, the harsh reality is that the weeks and months would pass. Little Moshe's parents would never appear again. What would he do, little Moshe alone in Poland?

Many surviving Jews were leaving for the American continent. Moshe Walfrid was put on a boat heading to Brazil.

My beloved mother, Leah Lieberman, was also orphaned. During the war, she and her twin brother Motty were hidden by a non-Jewish family to whom my grandparents gave all their lands and all their goods. My grandparents were taken to Auschwitz.

I calculate the despair of my mother and brother, little ones, asking for their parents, every day, for weeks, months, years, always, always. They dreamed of the day when they would hug their parents again, talk to their parents, live with their parents, love their parents, be truly loved like only parents know how to do. That day never came.

When the war was over, little Leah and her brother celebrated the moment because they thought they could finally see their parents again. However, weeks would pass endlessly until they realised they were alone in the world.

What would little Leah and her brother do alone in Poland? The story was similar to my father's. Many Jewish children from Poland crossed the Atlantic Ocean without knowing what tomorrow would be. Leah Lieberman and her brother were put on a boat heading for Argentina.

One day, my father and mother were introduced to each other. They got married. They made a beautiful family. They did everything extreme with me and my siblings, but thet never freed from the nightmares, the horror, that one day their parents were taken to Auschwitz, from where they never came out alive.

The Shoah is not a 20th century story. It is a story of many, many centuries in every country. In all ages we have been abused, surrounded, massacred. We helped build great powers on Earth and even after that we were expelled. Sepharad was just one example. A Jew is associated with money and interest, never with building a better world. My grandparents were just other victims of these prejudices.

Out of these ashes Israel was founded and  many children and grandchildren learn the Torah in Yeshivas, (Jewish Studies), keeping mitzvah (commandments) and chessed (kindness). Synagogues, communities, mikvaot continue to be born across the world.