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September 18, 1992 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Escape

guns in the airport. In nine hours
you are in a place where your grand-
> -parents had to hide for their lives.
And you see how they lived their
lives and you compare that to how
we live our lives here.
"We met people there who still
had pictures of the people they hid
during the war," she added. "Here
rihey were, still holding onto these
H little pictures as if they were mem-
hers of their own family."
1—, When the children spoke of their
trip, the adults stayed silent, lis-
tening to what the younger people
> gained and retained.
Reli Gringlas was a little girl
° when her mother died. She remem-
bers how villagers dug a trench in
the snow, placing her mother's body
there until it could be buried by the
Weiss family.
Mrs. Gringlas came to find her
mother's grave on the trip. Yet time
and vandals and German soldiers
destroyed so many headstones,
the family was unable to locate her
mother's grave.
"This was a town where time stood
completely still," she said of Porub-
ka. So still, in fact, that she did find
somebody who knew her, the woman
Who took care of and hid her and her
mother so many years ago.
"It was unbelievable," she said.
c- "She remembered me as a little girl.
She was still there."
For Arthur Weiss, the remnants
the Holocaust were frightening.
"There were some tzadikim in the
gentile community, but by and large
the people let the Holocaust hap-
pen," he said. "Some say that it could
happen here, and I can say that
we've seen and felt the elements.
That was important to me. I don't
, think you can understand the Holo-
caust by reading it in a text."
Ellen Weiss said a highlight was

r

seeing the reaction of villagers when
the Weiss' bus pulled into town.
Women were fixing themselves up,
combing their hair, just to see the
visitors.
"I'm glad I went," she said, "but
when I came back to this country, I
said, 'God Bless America."
"You look at the people who sur-
vived that time and from that part
of the world," Donald Wagner said,
"and you realize what success is and
just how successful this family re-
ally is. Could we survive the same
way today? How about our kids?

Roots

This was a link with the past and
the future. The children will appre-
ciate what they have seen and felt.
You don't realize how good you have
it until you've seen what we've seen."
Along the way, family members
left money to villagers who had
helped their relatives years ago. But
for most of the Weiss family, money
couldn't buy the feeling of together-
ness gained from this trip.
"How much money can you leave,"
said 11-year-old Leah, "for someone
who saved the lives of your fami-
ly?" ❑

Mrs. Weiss meets a classmate from her childhood and the two share a good cry
and memories.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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