This is a story about the will to survive and fate and coincidences. The story is difficult to explain and could be considered fictitious. Except it actually happened.
This story begins with my cousin, Nina Grutz, who was born in 1920 and lived at 10 Kopernika Street in L’vov (Lemberg), Poland. Nina was the only one of my Grandmother's family to survive the Holocaust. Her experiences during World War II included spending time in the L’vov Ghetto and in the Janowska labor camp. One of her most harrowing moments was being lined up with other Jewish women in the Polish forest in front of a pit and being shot by Nazi executioners.
On November 16th, 2014, the Ulster County Jewish Federation and Ulster County Community College sponsored a "Day of Learning," on the Stone Ridge campus of UCCC. Classes (focused on spiritual but non-sectarian topics) went from early morning to late afternoon, with an intermission for lunch and a presentation by husband and wife (of sixtyfive years), Vera and Seymour Nussenbaum. Both of the Nussenbaums had remarkable stories to tell.
My Grandfather (Opa) Adolf Lustig lived in Munich during the rise of the Nazi party. In 1933 he lost his license to practice law but stayed in Munich hoping that things would get better. He was arrested in the fall of 1937 and sent to Dachu Concentration Camp a few miles outside Munich. His crime, he was a past president of his local B'nai Brith lodge. Family members, relatives of Sir John Monash, the Australian Commander in Chief in World War 1, petitioned the Australian government to gain his release and emigration to Australia. He was released in March 1938 and immediately took his family to Melbourne. In 1944 after gaining Australian citizenship, he felt safe describing what it was like living in Germany during the rise of Hitler. He gave the attached speech later that year to a literary society in Melbourne Australia. - Bernie King-Smith