Back in June I was honored to give a presentation to the Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA (which I have written about here).
Following my talk, one of the first audience members I met were Shlomo Goldberg and his wife Karen Treiger. Shlomo explained that his father had escaped from Treblinka–from Treblinka!–one of the deadliest camps the Nazi ever constructed–and thereafter survived by hiding in a pit in the forest with a woman who would later become his wife. Within just the past few days Karen has published the story of her in-laws; of survival, of finding a new life in America, and of Karen’s own journey of discovery: My Soul is Filled With Joy: A Holocaust Story, available on Amazon here.
The story of Sam and Esther Goldberg is almost beyond belief, and I plan to write more about the book in a future blog. Karen recently shared with me a piece she just wrote for the Wexner Foundation, started by Leslie Wexner, the billionaire philanthropist who created a retail and marketing empire (The Limited; Bath & Body Works; Henri Bendel, etc.). She gives a succinct overview of her in-laws’ story, and then closes her piece with the final words Odd Nansen wrote in his Postscript to From Day to Day, words which she writes still “rings in my ears”:
The worst crime you can commit today, against yourself and society, is to forget what happened and sink back into indifference. What happened was worse than you have any idea of—and it was the indifference of mankind that let it take place!
The full text of Karen’s piece can be found here; click on the link to learn more about Sam and Esther Goldberg.
Thank you, Karen, for highlighting Odd Nansen’s powerful admonition to all of us.