Sunday, April 29, 2012




Some of you know that I recently left my job to pursue a personal goal. I'm going to write a book.

For years now I have wanted to "make a difference" in the world by doing something that would encourage current and future generations to understand those around them and in far flung places.  Not necessarily agree with those people, but tolerate their right to think differently from us, agree to disagree to avoid wars, and, genocide.    In October last year I discovered a video  of my grandfather being interviewed by American Filmmakers a few days after the American liberation of Dachau concentration camp.  The sound was garbled and so I started a desperate search to find the transcript or a version of the film with sound.   Finding the video of my Grandfather shocked me into action.  I knew I had to do something now.    

After I ended my fulfilling 6 years at a fast moving internet company, I began  to unearth incredible discoveries and have been introduced to special people who are already making a difference.  It's a contrasting world from the rapid paced lets-build-online-businesses than I have been used to, but, it's oh so rewarding.  In the first few days after I left my job, I discovered that the Wall St Journal published an article with part of the transcript from my Grandfather's video. 
 ..And in a rare piece of footage accompanied by sound, Mr. Stevens interviews survivors at Dachau. "We have no place to go back," says a man identified as Mr. Dortheimer. "We are beggars with no homes."
It was a timely discovery - finally I  found the video with sound!  It is part of an exhibition in NYC at the Museum of Jewish Heritage of American Filmmakers.   
..Hollywood directors John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller who  entertained audiences with American cinema classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Shane, and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history was their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services, filming the realities of war and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps."

Here is the second of two  video's of my Grandfather.
The first is here >>

Many of you have asked if there is some way you can keep in touch with the book journey.  "Finding Babcie"  will occasionally update you with highlights from my upcoming trips, first to Poland, and then perhaps Israel.  It aims to keep you in touch with progress on the book, and topics that can perhaps change your life also.  "Babcie" is Polish for Grandmothers. For many victims of war and genocide, finding grandmothers and other relatives, alive or dead, is key to rebuilding  lives. The impact of such findings can change families and change the world. My Babcia, Irena, was killed by the Nazi's outside of Warsaw shortly after my mother's birth. My mother was raised by Irena's sister Ala  prior to her imprisonment in Auschwitz and then after the war in Australia. I knew Ala as my Babcia, until I discovered the truth in my late teens. Ala wanted her survival of the holocaust to inspire her relatives to make sure it never happened again. I want to carry out her wishes.

 Please comment and tell me what you think, and share the journey with me.     If you want to be updated when I add posts, add your email to the "follow by email" box at the top right.   Karen.

5 comments:

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  2. Karen, what an extraordinary journey you are about to embark on. Enjoy the ride- I know it will be lifechanging Jane Hx

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  3. Please let me know how I can help in any way on your journey. Love, Jules

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  4. Karen,

    Beautifully written, I love the title and I love the wall! I am deeply moved already my friend! You have a book in the making! Thank you for sharing your family story with us! Love Wen x

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