On April 28, 2013, my husband, Roger Neiswender, and I, along with our “heritage network” friend Carole Kraus will sit together in an evening of tribute to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for 20 years of great service to this country and to the world. Carole and I exist because our brave Czech fathers were able to escape and find refuge in China after the Nazis occupied their homeland.
Carole and my friendship developed some seventy years later when as a modern day Nancy Drew, I located Pavel/Paul Kraus, Carole’s father; one of the 78 letter writers in my father collection of 400 WWII-era letters. Now “Chapter 7” in Adventurers Against Their Will, Paul was 91 years old when in 2010 I uncovered his whereabouts and went to see him in Chicago. He willingly shared vivid memories of his time in Shanghai and stories of how he rebuilt his life in America after tremendous personal loss in the Holocaust of his parents and younger brother.
With a purpose-driven respect, the USHMM event will honor Holocaust survivors and WWII soldier-liberators, who are traveling from all over the world to be in Washington, DC for this important event. These survivors and liberators know first-hand what the consequences of indifference and inaction meant when the world failed to recognize the coming colossal act of pure hatred now known as the Holocaust. They are the eyewitness generation. With a passing of the torch, the following generations, who like me exist because of providence, are now standing up to ensure the lessons learned from the Holocaust are not forgotten.
In a USHMM call to action, they asked people to submit information about what “Never Again” means to them. I submitted the following article which was later featured in Orlando’s Orange Appeal Magazine. I am honored to attend the USHMM event. I will continue to support this fine organization whose mission is to build a better world – one of respect and caring for our differences. After all, as humanity we are one. What you do matters – combat hate with love.