Inspirational Story – Nuernberg-Fuerth Tenth Family Reunion – Five Generations-One Family

July 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Dear Friends,

I just received the news article below regarding this past weekend’s reunion I have had the pleasure to be involved in the planning of. The last seven years have been deeply meaningful, as I worked with Frank Harris and other committee members on planning the  Nuernberg -Fuerth family reunions.

For detailed information on Frank and to see his Tikkun Olam award, click HERE.

I have to give Frank credit for being a role model and inspiration for serving the needs of the Jewish community, especially Holocaust survivors and their families.

His work was greatly admired by my Uncle Harry Weilheimer who married my Aunt Elsbeth. Click HERE for their story in the Mohr/Midas Photo Gallery section and note, Elsbeth’s miniature tree on the back of the Reunion Program. Frank asked for permission to use it, I think recognizing its very special significance given Elsbeth survived Auschwitz.

Harriet and I hope you are moved and inspired by the stories and pictures associated with this past weekend’s Nuernberg –Fuerth Tenth Family Reunion in upstate New York.

Best wishes,

Bill

How they survived the Holocaust

Times Herald-Record    July 01, 2012
By Michael Novinson

Participants in the Nuremberg-Furth 10th Family Reunion Saturday in Wawarsing listen to speakers describe their deeply personal tales of survival – and death.

WAWARSING — The three distinguished survivors sat atop the dais and reflected upon their escape from the jaws of death.

One fled before the genocide, another eluded the grasp of the Third Reich by remaining on the run, and the third had his entire immediate family slaughtered by the Nazis.

The speakers addressed some 65 children, grandchildren and survivors of the Holocaust at the Honors Haven Resort Saturday. This panel was part of a reunion weekend for Holocaust families tracing their origins to the Nuremberg-Furth area in Germany.

Reunion Chairman Frank Harris with his wife, Beri. They are celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary. Participants in the Nuremberg-Furth 10th Family Reunion Saturday in Wawarsing listened to speakers describe their deeply personal tales of survival – and death.

Frank Harris, 89, has been organizing the reunions since 1978. All but one has taken place at a Borscht Belt resort.

“We don’t live in the past,” he said. “We learn from the past.”

Willie Glaser, 91, fled from Furth to Northern Ireland in 1939, and would eventually emigrate to Canada after fighting for the Canadians in the mid-1940s.

But Glaser began his new life across the Atlantic without any family.

His dad was killed in Auschwitz, while his mom, two sisters and brother were gassed at Belzec in 1942.

It wasn’t until decades later, though, that Glaser would learn what happened to their bodies.

Most of the 500,000 Jews killed at Belzec were cremated.

But Glaser learned through four years of research that the Nazis slaughtered his family members early on and therefore buried the bodies.

“Now I have peace of mind,” he said. “There are no ashes.”

Panel speaker Liz Levy, who lives in Israel, tells her tale of survival Saturday at Honors Haven Resort in Ellenville.

Lore Strauss’ world was turned upside down in November 1938, when Nazi soldiers stormed her family’s Nuremberg house, turned on all the faucets, shattered all the glass, and stole all the valuables.

Strauss, now 88, left for Paris the next month, then had to flee again when Nazis stormed the French capital in June 1940.

Strauss and her family spent the next two years in southern France, going in and out of hiding as horrific rumors swirled.

“You never knew what was going to happen,” she said. The Germans eventually invaded the Bordeaux area as well, so Strauss assumed a fake identity and joined the French resistance movement.

“Most people knew who we were, but it was never said,” she said.

She spent the rest of the war memorizing and delivering coded messages.

Bill Freund’s father, Hugo, realized it was time to leave Nuremberg after he was arrested and beaten by German soldiers at the end of 1937. Freund was in grade school at the time.

But before they left, Freund’s mother, Paula, bribed a local baker to give her an authentic recipe for lebkuchen, a popular Christmas treat. This would come in handy two years later, when World War II broke out and shipments could no longer travel from Germany to New York City. Paula’s lebkucken recipe was such a hit that she opened up her own bakery in Manhattan.

“It was the (lebkucken) that taught me the basics of business,” said Bill Freund, now 85, who served as the New York Stock Exchange’s chief economist for 18 years, from 1968 to 1986.

 

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