A personal perspective on the Holocaust – 70 Years Later

Written by LeeOr

The holocaust hit my family hard from every angle. This summer for my 25th birthday my mom and I went to Rhodes, the Greek isle where her grandma Rosa grew up. My great grandma left Rhodes to marry my great grandfather and moved to Libya. When the Nazis came to the island, they took the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. I had heard that my great grandmother’s brother had fled to the Congo and escaped death. On the last day of vacation we went to see what remained of her family’s life in Rhodes, her father’s grave. He had died before everyone was taken to Auschwitz and so he has a grave, and that is all we have left. When we finally found the grave there was a couple standing next to it. In my usual abruptness I asked, “what is your relation to this grave?” He responded, “it’s my grandfather.” I said no way it’s her great grandfather, pointing to my mom. It was the son of her grandma’s brother who fled to the Congo, my grandpa’s first cousin! He was raised in South Africa and lives in Australia. He and my mom started hugging and we spent the rest of the day with him and his wife. Sometimes even from the greatest tragedies, life can bring you a gift. Reuniting family is always a blessing.


Related article:

A Family Reunion: The History of the Jewish Community of Rhodes