The Krakowiaks were among 157 Polish Jews lingering in #Portugual, since they could find no other country to accept them. Read More
Finally, after twenty months in a "fixed residence" in Figueira da Foz, as the Nazis were making lists in order to send them back to Poland, the American Joint Distribution Committee in cooperation with the #Polish government-in-exile and the #British government arranged for the Krakowiaks to be shipped to Gibraltar Camp, Jamaica, BWI.
They thought they would be free on this island paradise. Instead, they found themselves in a situation of semi-internment "protected" by a barbed wire fence.
This excerpt comes from chapter "One Step Ahead of the Bombs" the testimonial of Zosia Krakowiak recorded in 1997. Read More
“There are few books of Holocaust testimony that include pictures of families who lived through those times … for ages 12 to 16.” Read More
- Jewish Book Council
“Profusely illustrated and specifically written for young readers…”
- Midwest Book Review
1. One of the ways that young people can to be exposed to the horrors of the Holocaust is from the prospective of the Gentile heroes who put themselves in danger to save Jews during World War II. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul General in Bordeaux, France in 1940 saved my family by issuing visas to Portugal against the explicit orders of the dictator Salazar. Read More
Letter to the Editor of the New York Times (August 25, 2014)
From Generations of the Shoah International
Regarding Holocaust Descendants and Israel/Gaza
The overwhelming majority of the worldwide inter-generational Holocaust survivor community, including Generations of the Shoah International’s (GSI) Coordinating Council, agree with Elie Wiesel's recent statement in the New York Times that affirms Israel's absolute right to self defense. Read More
One afternoon in the early spring of 1956, when I was almost eleven-years-old, I came home from school and pounced on my mother, smothering her with kisses, our after-school greeting ritual. This particular afternoon Mom said, “Joanie, you can’t jump on me like that anymore.” I asked, “Why?” and Mom announced, “We are going to have a baby.” Read More
n 2012 Joan got serious about writing the book about how she found out that her parents had had a child, a daughter that they had loved before her. You could call it a “dual” memoir. It was her mothers’ story and how it affected her. You could say that she was trying to understand her life, its twists and turns and their consequences.
She had written quite a bit and then, she Googled “Portugal 1940”. Read More
Joan's family's experience was rather unique. Barbara Wind, Director of the Holocaust Council at the JFed of Greater Metrowest, NJ remarked, " I have never heard a story quite like this one," when Joan spoke before the "Lunch and Learn" group in September of 2016. Read More
In preparation for her first Sousa Mendes Foundation "Journey on the Road to Freedom" in 2013, Joan created a rudimentary "Snapfish" photo album to present to the daughter and grandson of Alberto Malafaia, the Portuguese man who befriend her family in Figueira da Foz, Portugal during their 20 month stay in that town.
When she showed the album to the visa recipients and the other descendants of Sousa Mendes visa recipients, who were on the journey with her, everyone remarked
When the bombs began to fall on Belgium, May 10, 1940, Joan's parents began their escape. They fled starting from La Panne on the Belgian seacoast (where they had been waiting anxiously to see what would happen after the Nazi invasion of Poland, September 1, 1939) with little more that the shirts on their backs. They thought they would go back to Brussels, “When it was over.” Joan's mother, Hala referred to the bombing and the running, saying we were always “one step ahead of the bombs.” Read More
Today I met the very talented Luso-Americano artist Julio Rodrigues and his wife Maria at the Nova Alianca Bakery in the #Ironbound District of Newark, New Jersey. We met so that he could give me his donation to the silent auction to benefit the SousaMendesFoundation Gala "A Toast to Freedom".
Just take a look at some of Julio's works... Read More
Joan Arnay Halperin : Thank you, Laura Kerr for ordering MY SISTER'S EYES. Maybe it will help you get your mind off your massive restoration after hurricane Irma for a while. How will you find a quiet place to read?
.Laura Kerr did find a place to read and here is her reaction: Read More