Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘holocaust’

A Father’s Tribute/The Strongest Man

My Father-in-law spoke in Washington this week.

Holocaust Remembrance Day.

He is a survivor, historian and regular speaker at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. He was asked to give a short talk at the SEC. I went along. I have heard him speak many times, but hearing him speak publicly is always a special treat that’s hard to pass up. He is in his 80s and I don’t know how much longer he is going to feel up to these excursions. But there he was, dapper as ever, with a discreet American flag pin on his lapel.

The SEC, Securities Exchange Commission  had a full house with an overflow room and the talk was televised to offices in several other locations. While we waited for everyone to get seated I glanced around the room at all the Brooks Brothers suits and carefully coiffed women. They all looked friendly and open. Nice.

My father-in-law gave a recount of his life just before the war, during Hitler‘s regime and his time in concentration camps. The audience was as riveted as they always are. I have heard the stories, read the books so many times that they have lost the “punch in the stomach” effect on me.

The men from his hometown, Warsaw  Poland, forced inside cattle cars,traveling for days, not knowing their destination. The heat unbearable, no  water never mind food. The arrival in concentration camp. Getting off the train to the barking of dogs and Nazis who shot anyone who staggered or tried to run. The death selection lines they passed through. Who shall live and work and who shall go ahead to the human ovens for immediate extermination like so many pests. Horrifying. Imagine your own husband, brother or son going through such a process. The women experienced much the same and the children..

So I sat and listened to him recount, and stand witness.  I have read his memoirs, his published book,  I knew what he told these privileged people was but a glimpse of the nightmare he lived.

Then he told of the last time he spoke to his father,before they knew the horrors that awaited them. He was a boy in his teens. His father blessed him and said, “My son, there are very hard times coming. You will have to be very strong.”  My father in law’s voice broke down with the memory of this last exchange. He brought his hand to his mouth. The audience waited. He gathered himself together and continued. “It was the last time I saw my father.”

I heard gasps behind me. I turned to see a man wiping his eyes.

I think if my father-in-law’s father could see  his only child that survived the war and the time he spent in the concentration camps, who went on to marry and raise a family in America.  A man who never lost his faith in God. A man who stands witness and consistently gathers the strength to go back to one of the world’s most terrible crimes, man against man, he would see his blessing came to fruition.

He would be so proud. My father-in-law was strong when he had to be, and continues to be strong because he chooses to be.

He is the model we live up to, the man we can only aspire to be like, with a strength beyond our understanding.

He is husband to one.

Father to five.

Grandpa to many,

and great-grandpa to a growing number of lucky little souls.

This is gmom,

peace out.

———————————————————————————————————–

                        INVICTUS

OUT of the night that covers me,
  Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank the God that ever will be,
  For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
  I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
  My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
  Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
  Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
  How charged with punishment the road,
I am the master of my fate:
  I am the captain of my soul.(William Henley)

Holocaust Survivor’s Pickled Danish Herring

Jerusalem Israel

This is what your unprepared brine soaked mackerel will look like.

Clean and discard guts of fish,remove fins and tail and head

With a sharp knife make a deep cut along the spine of your fish

This is how the deep cut along the spine should look

Starting at the head end,peel the skin back to remove it.

Peel off the skin

Pinch the meat away from the spine and ribs

Pick out any bones that remain behind and rinse the filets.

Slice herring filet into 1 inch pieces.

Long ago,
and far away,
when hubby and I were first married
we lived in Telzstone,
In an apt above a Danish couple.
The Shalimsicks.
Holocausts survivors both,
like my husband’s parents.
Nice people,
if somewhat reserved.
The wife never, ever
left her apt. without a hat and pumps on.

One evening hubby and I had our first argument,
overheard by the Shalimsicks,
next morning she coincidentally
bumps into me
on the steps and says,
“My husband and I say 2 Psalms together everyday.”

And besides that bit of life wisdom and generally being
a good neighbor,
she shared with me this recipe for,

Pickled Danish Herring
———————————-
Ingredients:

6 herring (Mackerel soaking in brine that you buy at a Jewish deli)

1 scant cup oil

1 scant cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 cup tomato sauce

1 medium onion cut into rings

1 medium apple cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Cut up your herring as the photos describe.
First cleaning it then removing the skin.
Make a deep cut along the spine.
Pinch your fingers down to the bones and separate the flesh from the skeleton sliding the filet off the ribs as shown.

You will be left with 2 filets.
Pick out any stray bones that remain with your fingers or a tweezers.
Cut filets into 1 inch pieces.
Rinse in cold water.

Now these herring are already salted so at this point you may want to soak your fish for 6 hours in water to remove the saltiness.
However, if your palate is accustomed to herring you can skip this step.
The American palate generally finds herring to be an “acquired ” taste and very strong all around. But those used to it find the soaked version bland and uninteresting.

Put all ingredients into a clean container and place it into the fridge.

Leave it for at least 48 hours.

Enjoy it with buttered rye toast points.

A little goes a long way!

Take care,
gmom

Tag Cloud