Happy Holidays 2014
                        Happy Holidays - December 2014 

As I write, it is the 3rd day of Chanukah for many, (Chanukah is an 8 day festival!), and for many, it will soon be a Merry Christmas!


But I would like to refer back to my Thanksgiving Day newsletter, which, for  technical problems,  reached very few of you. All is now repaired!

The Thanksgiving Day letter talked about our special November visit to Germany. We arrived in Hoya, my former "hometown," late on Sunday afternoon, November 9, in time to join many of Hoya's townspeople and students assembled for their annual observance of Kristallnach or "Night of Broken Glass" on the very site where our small synagogue once stood. 70 years earlier, on this very date, the  Nazis and their many followers burned Jewish books and Torah scrolls, and smashed shop windows of Jewish owned stores. Thousands of Jewish men (my father among them) were arrested and sent to concentration camps. 


Students and townspeople spoke about that fateful and evil event. Young  

German students, led by teacher Monika Stollman, sang, in Hebrew,
Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, literally meaning "We bring peaceful greetings to you." 


Karen Christoph & Thomas Denker, talented and personable Klezmer musicians, played appropriate and beautiful music. Students placed lighted memorial candles along the long triangular synagogue memorial on which reads, "You are now standing on Jewish soil."  


At the Community Center on Monday night, Mayor Anne Sophie Wasner presented me with an Honorary Citizenship Certificate to Hoya, my hometown until my family and I  were"forced" to flee, leading  to 6 years of privation and suffering, including incarceration in Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen.   


But on this Monday night, I was honored with "Honorary Citizenship" to the City of Hoya The ceremony was impressive and moving, attended by dignitaries and townspeople. I could feel the warmth and love of so many fine people working diligently to redress events that happened here some 70 years ago.


Of course I was given the opportunity to speak to and with students in middle and high schools. The students were attentive, respectful and responsive. They asked cogent questions.  Nathaniel took many photos, a few of which are included in this newsletter, and many SELFIES were taken!


However, there was an interruption in my schedule, caused by a fall in which I suffered severe damage to my right hand. The skilled and personable surgeon and staff at the Klinikum Hospital in Braunschweig provided wonderful medical care for the 5 days that I was in their charge.

See my VERY bandaged right hand in an accompanying photo as I posed with students after a post-hospital presentation


I did promise that one day in the near future I would return to complete my unfinished school speaking schedule! 


My sincere gratitude to my dear, dear friends Heike & Hans Huth and family, to Mayor Wasner, Elfriede Horneker, Detlef Meyer, Eike Reiche, Dr. Tietjen, Herr Bittner, Herr Landsman, Henry Meyer, Renate Schumacher, Klara Lowvincz, Barbara & Fritz Schulz, the Klinikum medical staff, and so many others, for making Nathaniel and me feel like long-time, honored, and close friends.


And,  to our dear friend, Tjalke Notermans, thank you for making the trip from your home in Holland to be with us, and for once again bringing the many tulip bulbs to be planted by my school to grace the schools grounds with beautiful tulips that will bloom in Springtime!


It is the people like these that restores one's faith in humanity and  make this a wonderful world in which to live, and which made this year's Thanksgiving Day so extra special and meaningful for me.

It was just a week ago that I had some further surgery - actually some plastic surgery, on that right hand, and have begun physical therapy.
I am truly on the mend.


So, for now, best wishes for a very wonderful and happy Holiday Season to you, and wishing you a happy, healthy, productive 2015, in a world of love and true peace!


Many hugs,


Marion & Nathaniel






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