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Remember This

April 24, 2017
papa felice baby

Me and Papa

Today is Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It’s also a day I celebrate those who survived. Those courageous men and women, boys and girls, who found the strength to keep going, to hold on, who had luck on their side. In particular, I remember my grandparents. Had either of them succumbed to the nightmare that was their daily life for five years, I would not be here. If they hadn’t come to this country with the determination to make it, the willingness to work hard, I would not be here.

But I am here.

To show my appreciation I have been educating others about the Holocaust for the last six years. On April 13 I had an opinion piece in the New York Daily News about Sean Spicer’s insensitive comments, about my grandfather and about the book we wrote together. When What Papa Told Me, a memoir I wrote as a gift for Papa, came out in 2010, I never expected to sell one copy. To date I’ve sold over 30,000 copies around the world, have spoken to thousands around the country and had the book translated into Polish. Recently I received a request to have it translated into Japanese.

Let me write that again, Japanese.

When my grandfather was on his last legs at the end of the war, weighed 78 pounds and spent his days hiding among piles of rotting dead bodies in Bergen Belsen, did he imagine the story of his survival would become a book to be read by many? Not in a million years. But it has. Today I remember my grandparents, I remember what they went through and I give thanks to them for never giving up. It’s the least I can do.

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18 Comments
  1. kklein1314@aol.com permalink

    I see your mom on Murray How are you doing?

    Stan and Doreen

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Israel, Scott permalink

    I love your Papa even though I never knew him! Truly an amazing legacy for him (and for you)!

  3. Mary Foote permalink

    You are a living memory! Beautiful words.

  4. Joe F. permalink

    I loved your writing as I always do. Today for you. no disrespect intended, I am Jewish in my heart, .remembering with you.

  5. Sweet, clear, and moving. Thanks!

  6. karen permalink

    My father was a pilot during WW2 and my mother a nurse, they married in 1946, and had nearly 50 years before my father passed. I remember what they did for us everyday. Here in Canada on Remembrance Day, I pause for the 2 minutes of silence on the 11th day at 11:00. What would have happened if that “H” person had lived stayed in power in Germany, it makes me cry. When people say the Holocaust did not happen, I argue my point to the enth degree that it did, and my hope is that it will never happen again to anyone. You and your family are in my hearts, and prayers today and always.

  7. Richard Aberson permalink

    AMEN !

  8. emsols@aol.com permalink

    Strange as it may seem, the Holocaust served to produce some of the smartest, strongest and most creative Jewish people In all of history. One can only imagine how much better off the world would now be if six million precious souls would not have perished.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  9. Tom Olverson permalink

    Congratulations, Felice not only for your success but also for your diligence in keeping this history alive.

  10. George permalink

    Felice, I am a child survivor with no living close relatives. Over the years it was a pleasure to read about your Papa, a person I didn’t have in my life.

  11. james nomikos permalink

    so beautiful Felice thank you for sharing this with me naomi

  12. Thank you, Felice. For this post, and for your work!

  13. Maxine Bornstein permalink

    Thank you Felicetta, You make our world a more sensitive and caring place to live. Sending big hugs to you and your family, With love always, Maxine

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. Deborah Golden permalink

    I love you Felice. Your Papa was a survivor and beloved. One amazing man and you are one amazing woman.

  15. Auntie M permalink

    nice post. Our temple had a wonderful service on Sunday night, open to the public & there were at least 400 people in attendance. We do not forget.

  16. Tracey permalink

    Oh that’s lovely, Felice. God bless your grandparents. I cannot begin to comprehend what they endured… Great to acknowledge them and never forget. xoxo

  17. Dana Arschin permalink

    Absolutely beautiful post! You’re such a special person. MAZEL TOV on the Japanese translation request – WHOA!!! Miss you! xoxoxo

  18. Dana Arschin permalink

    Also just read the Daily News article… it was excellent.

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