@TheJDC Rescued the Krakowiak family during #WWII by providing passage on the SS #SerpaPinto

@TheJDC Rescued the Krakowiak family during #WWII by providing passage on the SS #SerpaPinto

The Krakowiaks were among 157 Polish Jews lingering in #Portugual, since they could find no other country to accept them.
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.

Read More

“I've Never Heard A World War II Rescue Story Quite Like This One.”   —Barbara Wind @HolocaustGrMW @jfedgmw

“I've Never Heard A World War II Rescue Story Quite Like This One.”   —Barbara Wind @HolocaustGrMW  @jfedgmw

My Sister Eyes: 
A Family Chronicle of Rescue and Loss During World War II

“There are few books of Holocaust testimony that include pictures of families who lived through those times … for ages 12 to 16.”
          - Jewish Book Council          
“Profusely illustrated and specifically written for young readers…”  
          - Midwest Book Review

Read More

"Had goosebumps and tears in my eyes through most of it [My Sister's Eyes]...great nonfiction book that introduces young readers to the #Holocaust..." Anna Schiffer, Member @genshoah_intl

"Had goosebumps and tears in my eyes through most of it [My Sister's Eyes]...great nonfiction book that introduces young readers to the #Holocaust..." Anna Schiffer, Member @genshoah_intl

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

An 11th Commandment?

This afternoon Joan finally had the pleasure of meeting  Isabelle Coelho-Marques President @NYPortuguese at the showing of the film "Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story" presented by the Jewish Arts & Film Festival @StamfordJCC.
And, in addition, to find that they have much in common. 
1. They are both sensitive. They both cried as they watched the film. It was Isabelle's 1st viewing of this immensely touching version of the Sousa Mendes story. It was Joan's 4th (at least); and
2. They are both of the opinion that there should be an 11th Commandment: Spread the good word!

Here are Isabelle and Joan with Eileen Berets, Sousa Mendes visa recipient, who shared her deep appreciation for Aristides de Sousa Mendes' act of moral courage that save her family. 

Isabelle Coehlo Marques Joan Eileen Berets.jpg

“Traveling Light”

          Frederica Jordão the talented and sympatica ( English = one having mutual understanding with another) resident of Figueira da Foz, Portugal, is one of the 2016 American Club of Lisbon Award winners. 

Read her report from: The Sousa Mendes Foundation Gala " A Toast to Freedom" 

“Traveling Light” goals will develop in two stages:

  1. In Portugal, researching national archives for photographs and other visual documents regarding the presence of WWII refugees in Portugal in the 30’s and 40’s;
  1. In the USA, showcasing the photographs with WW II to refugees and / or their descendants. Together we’ll share stories, ideas and hopefully identify the people portrayed, thus reconstructing their trails, from their homelands in Europe to the USA safe haven.

Frederica had all the good intentions to travel light, but books she couldn't resist and the toys requested by her two small children modified her plan.
Joan dedicates her book. My Sister's Eyes , and bids her friend a fond good-bye or rather so long till we meet again in the garage of Terminal C at Newark Airport.

Congratulations to Frederica, my friend, for a job very well done. 

fred and joan Newark 2.JPG
American club of PO.jpg
 Mariana Abrantes (left) , elected Director of the ALC of Lisbon (and Treasurer of the SMF) with former US Amb. Robert A. Sherman (standing next to Mariana).

Mariana Abrantes (left) , elected Director of the ALC of Lisbon (and Treasurer of the SMF) with former US Amb. Robert A. Sherman (standing next to Mariana).

Der Konsul Von Bordeaux - Announced in "שלום בברלין - Shalom Berlin" - 8 Nov. 2017

On the eve of Kristalnacht the German premiere of the film THE CONSUL OF BORDEAUX about the “Portuguese Schindler” (Their comparison not Joan's) Babylon Theatre , Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, Berlin.

"Through a daredevil action in 1940, Aristides de Sousa Mendes helped many people in distress and gave them “the ticket to freedom, to life”. Despite being forbidden to do so by his government, the former Consul General saved around 30.000 people, of which around 10.000 were Jews, during the Second World War by granting those visas to Portugal.
The 30th Jewish Culture Days in Berlin present the German premier of the Portuguese film “The Consul of Bordeaux” (in German), which tells us about the story of the still celebrated hero. Sousa Mendes; grandsons, Gerald and Sebastian Mendes were present, alongside co-producer and Film music-composer Henri Seroka."

 

Der Konsul Von Bordeax.jpeg

HURRY! Only 22 copies of MY SISTER'S EYES left in #Portugal!

Hello to our very good friends in Portugal,
     My Sister's Eyes: A Family Chronicle of Rescue and Loss During World War II, the book which the author, Joan Arnay Halperin (pictured below left 😁), calls "a love poem to the Portuguese people" is available at the Fronteira da Paz Museum, Vilar Formoso, Portugal .
     President Marcelo @marcelorebelo_ has his copy. 
Order your copy today!  Please call: 00 351 271 149 459.  

 Joan Arnay Halperin reading the section called,  " Ici Repose ...Here Lies".to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Inauguration of the   Fronteira da Paz Museum , Vilar Formoso , Portugal, August 26, 2017.  

Joan Arnay Halperin reading the section called, "Ici Repose...Here Lies".to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Inauguration of the Fronteira da Paz Museum, Vilar Formoso, Portugal, August 26, 2017. 

In 2012 Joan got serious about writing the book...She found the SousaMendesFoundation.org @SousaMendesFoundation

In 2012 Joan got serious about writing the book...She found the SousaMendesFoundation.org @SousaMendesFoundation

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

What prompted Joan to "create" MY SISTER'S EYES?

What prompted Joan to "create" MY SISTER'S EYES?

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.
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

Read More

When the Bombs Began to Fall - May 10, 1940

When the Bombs Began to Fall - May 10, 1940

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

"A Toast to Freedom" @SousaMendesFdn Gala

A large number of Aristides de Sousa Mendes' visa recipients and descendants of visa recipients gathered to toast their freedom along with the Ambassador of Portugal to the USA, Domingos Fezas Vital, and the Consul General of Israel in New York ( @AmbDaniDayan ) and many Portuguese and American friends on Sunday, October 29th at the Museum of the Jewish Heritage, which overlooks the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
Families sat at tables designated by the ship that brought them or their parents and grandparents to safety in the USA during those terrible World War II years. 
Joan's family sailed. not to New York, but to semi-internment at Gibraltar Camp in Jamaica, BWI. This voyage marked the midway point on their 1,241 day struggle for freedom.

 The   SS Serpa Pinto   made more crossings of the Atlantic during the  Second World War  than any other civilian vessel, leading to her being termed the  Friendship vessel  or  Destiny ship  according to Eckl, Marlen.  "Review: Serpa Pinto, the Ship of Destiny" . Casa Stefan Zweig.    

The SS Serpa Pinto made more crossings of the Atlantic during the Second World War than any other civilian vessel, leading to her being termed the Friendship vessel or Destiny ship according to Eckl, Marlen. "Review: Serpa Pinto, the Ship of Destiny". Casa Stefan Zweig. 

 

 Gibraltar Camp - Dinning Hut   

Gibraltar Camp - Dinning Hut

 

My Sister's Eyes - Book signing @HolocaustMuseum #HolocaustEducation

Pix are worth a thousand words.

 Entrance to the USHMM Museum Shop   

Entrance to the USHMM Museum Shop

 

 Joan Arnay Halperin at author's table.

Joan Arnay Halperin at author's table.

 Joan shares her story.   

Joan shares her story.

 

 Parents buy  My Sister's Eyes  for their children. "They must know. Information is power."

Parents buy My Sister's Eyes for their children. "They must know. Information is power."

 Joan writes a dedication, " Thank you for sharing my story. Warm Wishes...

Joan writes a dedication, " Thank you for sharing my story. Warm Wishes...

 This is a family affair. Richard Arnay, brother and enthusiastic supporter, joins Joan at the USHMM Museum Shop and buys copies of  My Sister's Eyes  to share with his friends. And, special thanks to Itzhak Halperin, Joan's partner of 44 1/2 years, the eye behind the lens.

This is a family affair. Richard Arnay, brother and enthusiastic supporter, joins Joan at the USHMM Museum Shop and buys copies of My Sister's Eyes to share with his friends. And, special thanks to Itzhak Halperin, Joan's partner of 44 1/2 years, the eye behind the lens.

Kind words from Laurie W. with special praise for the graphic designer.

I just read your book cover to cover this morning and cried several times. It's a powerful, emotional story. I love all of the family photos and the artifacts your family held onto. It was moving to hear a personal account of people saved by De Sousa Mendes and in a few short pages you painted an unforgettable portrait of the man and his wife. The story of your sister was a complete surprise and really touched me. I like the way the book design anchors the reader in time and place with the maps and dates inset. What a journey you took to unearth all of this history. And how meaningful. Laurie W.

MSE Date and Place stamp.GIF

The map with date stamp is a creation of the multi-talented graphic designer, Rosanne Guararra.

This review of MY SISTER'S EYES on @amazon #VerifiedPurchase nearly knocked me out!

5 out of 5 Stars - " Brought me to tears  " 

Wonderful, moving book with excellent photos. Heartbreaking true story of war, trauma and healing love, to be shared with family and read over and over again.

  Verified PurchaseByBammom   on September 27, 2017 (Who are you? Joan wants to thank you personally and tell you that she cries every time she reads it as well.)

Yvonne's grave 1942.

Orange Street Cemetery, Kingston Jamaica, BWI - 1942. 

"Here lies our adored little girl - Yvonne Krakowiak - Born June 1, 1938 - Deceased June 4, 1942 - Only child of Halina and Ignace Krakowiak." 

My Sister's Eyes by Joan Arnay Halperin - Meet the Author - October 13-14, 2017 @HolocaustMuseum #HolocaustEducation

 Joan shows   My Sister's Eyes   to Marcelo Rebelo  de Sousa at the inauguration of the     "Fronteira da Paz" Museum , Vilar Formoso, Portugal, August 26, 2017.

Joan shows My Sister's Eyes to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the inauguration of the
"Fronteira da Paz" Museum, Vilar Formoso, Portugal, August 26, 2017.