Thursday, January 26, 2017


Her last last known address was Muhl Gasse 43 Flat 3, Lodz Poland.

In the summer of 1941 she was packed into a truck along with a dozen other people. As the truck sped towards the Chelmno  extermination camp the driver dropped a canister of gas into the ventilation system. By the time they arrived all its occupants were dead from suffocation. Their scratch marks were visible from the inside of the trucks doors. 

She was 6. 

Her name was Dobra Jurkiewicz. She was a Jew and a resident of the Lodz Ghetto. 

Over 200 people who shared my last name from the city my family immigrated from in Poland, were executed in the same manner, for the same reason, because they were Jews. 

My family argues with me that I can't be sure they we are related. I argue back that it really doesn't matter. 

My uncle Walter Kozinski escpaped from Aushwitz-Birkinau. 

My fathers close friend and co-worker Franz Bergsma watched the Nazi's execute his parents in front of him at their home in Belgium. 

I sat in a coffee shop Monday with a friend whose grandmothers both survived the death camp experience. They never spoke of it. My Uncle Walter never did either. 

I shared with her the story of how my family is skeptical of my claim to our heritage and she looked at me and said It doesnt matter, it's part of your story. 

Each day of my life is day of remembrance. 

If I do not

Who will?

It is part of my story.

She would have been 81 this year.

Never again.