Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon.com this FRIDAY, Dec 19, only!

In an attempt to find more information, I am able to run a Kindle Countdown Deal for one day,, this Friday, December 19, Kindle Countdown Deal for Walk Forward at 99 cents! It was my father's eternal hope that I find my sister or her fate as he always told my two younger sister and me "If someone comes to you one day and says she is your sister, you must believe her." He wanted us to welcome her into our family.

#Kindle Countdown Deal, Friday, Dec 19, father's eternal #hope, "find my #sister." Walk Forward at http://amzn.to/11ERBqK #IARTG #bynr #asmsg #mystery #love #life

A father's hope for his missing child spans beyond the generations and is eternal. Does she remember her last name, she was only 9 years and had gone through much terror in concentration camp Stutthof. When she was taken, her mother went with her child so that her child should not be afraid. My heart aches for this young mother, my father's first wife.

This 9 year old, blond-haired, blue-eyed child with olive skin, had survived the Lodz Ghetto, made it through Auschwitz as a member of the 500 hundred metal workers and their families chosen by my Uncle Alfred Chimowicz.

How I wish I could somehow take the pain away from my older (half) sister, but someone out there must know something. It does not matter to me if you were a Nazi or someone who saw it happen, what happened to her is the question. She is not listed on any transport and as part of a "different kind of Schindler's list" she was monitored everyday. She had to be replaced, but is not listed in the transport that sent her 3 young cousins back to Auschwitz.

A two year old survived the entire ordeal and we are in contact with him, but he is much to young to remember anything. He sent us a photo of our Uncle.

Is there a chance, time is running out because of our ages, if you have any ideas, please, please, forward to me at rosaraskin@gmail.com Please note, many secondary sources are quoting ME!

I have never said my sister died, I have no proof but several are quoting me as to the last place she was seen. Had she not had blond hair and blue eyes, and I recently learned that NOT everyone's hair was shaved off, is there a chance? Someone knows and I hope they have the courage to let me know.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holidays

For the holidays, be thankful for your family. If you are interested in another time and place consider reading Walk Forward.

What did it feel like to lose everything and everyone? To lack the basic necessities, be herded like cattle, and to lose all but what one has saved in one's mind?

Yet there is always hope. Is there a chance a nine year old girl somehow tricked fate and survived?

My father suvived to tell the story and to one day be reunited with his firstborn or have his 3 younger daughters find out her fate, what happened to a beautiful, blond-haired, blue-eyed child.

Can you help in the search for my lost sister? Read the book he wanted to write, but never could.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Germany

After trying for two years, I finally got Walk Forward on a list in Germany, in the city of my
birth, Karlsruhe.

Amazing how many in the U.K. read the book and email helpful advice or leads.

I have joined Allgenerations and will report any leads I might get from them once they
officially post the search for my sister, searching for the 500 metal workers or their
descendants, or the detailed information which I published in Walk Forward.

I hope this first contact with Germany will have a long tail of information.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Upcoming Kindle Countdown Deal for July 28-July 31, 2014

Stay tuned for the upcoming Kindle Countdown Deal for Walk Forward at http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC.

Since the last Kindle Countdown Deal, I have found the finding resting place of an uncle, a lady in Berlin connected me with another descendant of  a member of  "The Last 500," and I continue to learn more and more about the true story of this group that is kind of like a Schindler's List.



Can you join the search for a lost sister?

Who knows who might have a piece of the puzzle, the story is ongoing. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal for Walk Forward from June 2-5, 2014

In honor of the Chimowicz letters being published in summary form on the USHMM website,
which are cited in  "Walk Forward," "Walk Forward" will be in a Kindle Countdown Deal for 72 hours from

Tuesday, June 2 to Friday, June 5, 2014 for U.S. and especially UK readers at

http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC

and

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chimowicz Letters

Letters that were written by my father and uncle in the spring of 1946, including the first accounts of what happened to family members during the Holocaust in Germany and Poland, are now online in summary form on the USHMM web site and also accessed via search engines, the USHMM link is http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn55161.

The letters were written by Alfred and Herman to their Cousin Masha in Israel. Masha's daughter, Nira, had the letters and sent them to me for donation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Alfred led 500 metal workers and their families, the group is identified as "The Last 500," as they
were one of the last groups to leave the Lodz Ghetto, following the metal machinery, to several
concentration camps including Auschwitz, Stutthof, Flossenburg and a munitions factory in Dresden
and a death march to concentration camp Theresienstadt.

Thanks Cousin Nira for your help!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lessons learned

Although the Holocaust (Shoah) is a Jewish tragedy, the themes and lessons learned transcend religion and ethnicity. The fallout from that period in our history is overwhelming when one realizes how many families are yet to be reunited, how many graves are yet to be found, how many children are yet to be named?

I recently found my Uncle Leo Chimowicz's grave in Prague from a simple statement made by a child survivor named Eva, "Maybe your Uncles hitched a ride from concentration camp Theresienstadt to Prague with my family?" I had searched cemeteries worldwide, had zoomed in the Czech ones, but did not find his grave until I was given this potential clue! I had searched the worldwide cemetery databases, I had searched cemeteries in the Czech Republic, I had searched cemeteries in Prague, but when I heard Eva's words, I zoomed in on one city, and one city only.

Since my Uncle Alfred Chimowicz had seen his youngest brother, Leo Chimowicz, who was alive on release from Theresienstadt, in a hospital, I figured this youngest brother must have been buried, but the question was what hospital, in what city? As a child, I saw my father and uncle light memorial candles for their youngest brother. We knew that this youngest brother wanted to go back to the East to search for his wife and three sons, just as my father went to the West to search for his wife and young daughter.

The Holocaust cut short the lives of 11.5 million persons of all faiths. What can we do to tell the true stories as we know them and what can we do to "fix" those stories that are false about such an unbelievable event in the history of the world?

If you have a story to tell, do not hesitate to publish it on a blog, in comments on a blog, on a website, on Facebook, or whatever media you feel comfortable with. If you are searching for answers, for the truth, for the fate of lost family members, better to get it out in the media sooner rather than later.

Do not wait until you have a "perfect" book, write up what you have and get it out there.
There will be negative reviews no matter how "perfect" or how well-edited your book might be, but any closure, any new information that you might find, will most certainly be worth the effort.

If you are a member of the 2nd or 3rd generation, search the word "Holocaust" or "Shoah" in FB groups and join one that would welcome your family's stories.

When you connect with someone who may have information on the fate of one of your ancestors, do not let go, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity might never come again!

I am grateful to have found someone who was close to my sister's age and on the journey with my lost sister. Although I had older cousins that were with my sister, having found a child close to her age and seeing the world from the child's eyes is incredible and truly beyond what I expected.

I was fortunate to get a glimpse of my sister's world, literally "Through Eva's Eyes."

Eva's journey was documented in a children's book written by her granddaughter, Phoebe:



If it is time to explain what happened in that horrible period of our world's history to a child, Phoebe Unterman's book, which is most beautifully illustrated, "Through Eva's Eyes," is a wonderful place to start the journey and begin to "Walk Forward."

Eva's story is my lost sister's story, a story about the group now called "The Last 500."


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Man's Search for Meaning

On my recent trip to Texas, my nephew suggested I read Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning."

I knew this book was on my reading list from years gone by. I remember shelving it in our hospital library, but hearing my nephew suggest reading it, I could not wait to borrow Frankl's books from the library.

A quote by Nietzsche, cited in the book, is as follows:

             "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how."

I have been thinking much about these words in relation to my father who lost his first wife and beautiful 9 year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter --- or more specifically, neither wife or child are documented on any reliable list after September 3, 1944, after arriving in concentration camp Stutthof  from Auschwitz.

My "lost" sister was a member of a group now called "The Last 500."

Frankl, a psychiatrist survivor of the Shoah (Holocaust), presents much information which sounds familiar, things my father told me or I somehow assimilated? Frankl understands survival, what survival involves, and has first-hand knowledge of being a slave laborer and concentration camp inmate.

My father told me he survived as wanted to tell the world what had happened, but after the war he felt that no one would believe what had happened, no one would believe our family's story, no one would believe the horrors of the Holocaust.

I am rereading Frankl's book which is reminding me of the many things buried deep in my own mind, things my father had told me which I did not document. Frankl verifies what I knew, but expresses it much better in words than I can. He gives me the gift of understanding what was needed to survive, in addition to physical strength and luck.

If you are interested in the mindset of survivors and those who did not, you might wish to read Frankl's
book(s).

A big  Texas "Thank You," to our dear nephew, our niece made an incredible choice in choosing him as her soul mate!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thanks for Joining the Search for a Lost Sister

Incredible that publishing "Walk Forward," which is one of my last hopes in finding my sister who was lost in the Shoah (Holocaust), has led me to finding a new cousin, a new friend who was with my sister on the journey in various concentration camps, and the grave of my father's beloved youngest brother, Leo Chimowicz, in the "New Jewish Cemetery" in Prague.

I wish to thank the many readers in the UK, USA, and Australia who have not only read "Walk Forward," but have sent leads. I am grateful for the help in the search for my lost sister and any and all information leading to more information. I am impatiently waiting for the results of DNA testing as my father said, "If anyone comes to you one day and says she is your sister, you must believe her." My sister lives on in the book and in your hearts. Many thanks to those of you who have taken the time to read each of the chapters in "A different kind of Schindler's List," my lifelong search for my lost sister.

"Walk Forward" is not one story, but a series of chapters put together over a 20 year period, with the hope that if my sister is out there, she will read the book, and feel confident in contacting me. Each chapter is merely a piece of the complex puzzle. If my older sister, Eugenia (Genia) Chimowicz, is not out there, the book keeps her memory alive along with her young cousins. The 1.5 million children who were robbed of their childhood and systematically murdered, having been born at a wrong time and in the wrong place, have nothing to be remembered by, but perhaps a book, book trailer, or a movie.

No matter what you read or how incredible it might seem, we do not yet know the fate of my sister, Eugenia Chimowicz, a beautiful 9 year old, with blond hair and blue eyes. We have no proof to date that she was murdered in 1944. My father did not believe that his firstborn was killed, he did not declare his child as "dead," and he did not light a memory candle for her. She lived in his heart and survives in the minds of her three younger sisters, each lucky to have been born after the Second World War.

We have discovered some encouraging facts;  Eugenia was the only blond-haired girl in the group now called, "The Last 500," and not everyone's hair was shaved off in concentration camp Auschwitz.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Miracles

Finding a cousin was a miracle, but small miracles have continued since the publication of "Walk Forward."

A wonderful lady, who at 12 years old was on the final journey with my 9 year old sister, responded to a letter I sent to her in Oklahoma. I was privileged to visit this incredible person named Eva, who gave me a chance to envision a bit of the most complicated and horrible world as my lost sister might have seen it. Had Eva's hair been blond and her eyes blue, I would have believed that perhaps I had finally found my lost sibling! We know we are not sisters, but family relationships are yet to be researched.

Eva and I found we have very much in common. The more Eva and I search, the more similarities we find. We have uncovered many coincidences, but their true meanings are yet to be revealed. Not only do we like the same foods, have similar furniture in our homes, and the same desire to tell the story so that history does not repeat itself, we both feel strongly that the 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Shoah should never be forgotten. The children were not numbers, but had names and wonderful lives before the events of the Second World War destroyed their childlike qualities and hopes. Eva is a survivor of the Shoah, I am not a survivor, but the daughter of a survivor. I am a member of the second generation (2g), the generation who heard the first person stories, felt the enormous pain of the survivor (our parents') generation, and who continue to search for lost family members in lifelong attempts to put the pieces of the complex puzzle together.

As members of the second generation, we did not experience the Shoah in person, but we have the obligation to keep the true stories alive. We must do the best we can to publish the truth as we know it and encourage our peers to do the same. We owe it to those who can not speak, who dare not write, who are afraid to remember or publish the truth, and the millions who died long before their time. Hundreds of millions of words are lost forever, they never made it into books!

Genocide has horrible effects on many generations. Man's inhumanity to man remains with the young as fear and pain are not easily forgotten.

If you have a secret to survival or to what truly happened, be brave and share it with the world. If you have a story to tell, or have been privileged to hear a survivor's story, "Walk Forward," and please share it for the historical record and humanity!

Kindness, knowledge, and truth are first steps in healing our deepest wounds.


Lessons Learned

I have learned much from writing my family's stories in Walk Forward. I believe that with research, care, and luck, hidden secrets can ultimately be discovered. Family's tend to keep secrets, but in the case of the Shoah, (Holocaust) there remain too many secrets, too many lost pieces of a most complex puzzle, but in time, new pieces and old puzzles will be solved.

Small hints seem to lead to answers, for example, I wondered where my Uncle Leo Chimowicz was buried? I had searched cemeteries around concentration camp Theresienstadt and wondered in what other cemeteries I should be looking for a grave for my Uncle Leo Chimowicz, who survived the Shoah. I concluded that he had to have been buried in a cemetery as my Uncle Alfred Chimowicz, his older brother, had seen him in very bad shape in a hospital shortly after May 9, 1945.

As a child, I saw my father, Herman Chimowicz, and uncle light memory candles, Jahrzeit candles, for my Uncle Leo. When I asked my father what happened to his beloved youngest brother he told me that Leo was very tall, and being tall was a misfortune during the Shoah as the Nazis came down with their clubs, the taller persons in the groups being hit the most.

I recently found a new cousin who had my father and uncle's letters in which my Uncle Alfred described the wounds of his youngest brother Leo. Uncle Alfred said that Leo died of his wounds, but the letter did not say where, did not mention a hospital, did not mention a cemetery.

I had almost given up my search for Uncle Leo when I visited my new friend Eva in Tulsa who was with my lost sister on the most complicated journey through various concentration camps. Eva said to me, "Maybe your uncles hitched the same ride we did to Prague on release from Theresienstadt?"

I remembered the words of Uncle Leo to his older brothers, "I will go to the East from where my wife's family came, while you two proceed to the West." Uncle Leo was searching for his lost wife and three young boys, my father was searching for his lost wife and 9 year old daughter, Eugenia (Genia).

When Eva mentioned to me that my uncles may have hitched a ride to Prague, I zoomed in on the cemeteries in Prague and to my shock, I found the grave of my Uncle Leo Chimowicz.

Uncle Leo's final resting place is in the "New Jewish Cemetery" in Prague, his grave is in Section 33, Row 6, Number 17. I would love to find a picture of his grave!

If you know anyone visiting Prague who might take a photograph of this grave for his family in the USA, please email me at rosaraskin@gmail.com

Publication

"Walk Forward" was published on Amazon.com on September 25, 2012 as an ebook and in paperback formats on http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Forward-ebook/dp/B009H6Y7AC and CreateSpace at
https://www.CreateSpace.com/4025278M. The creation of the book has led me to finding people, letters, and photographs, which I never imagined existed.

I have found a cousin who not only had my father's letters, but had photographs of my family in Poland before the Second World War. I never imagined finding these materials, which I donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) on May 9, 2013. I had met a member of USHMM at a conference and was asked if I might donate the original letters cited in the book to the museum in Washington, D.C. May 9 was a significant date in our family, as it was the day my father felt free of concentration camp Theresienstadt. It was finding a new cousin who had the letters, and the cousin and her sister agreeing to send the letters to the USA, which are all small miracles! Finding a new cousin so many years after the Shoah (Holocaust) is truly amazing. Thanks Cousin Nira for sending the letters to me for donation to USHMM!