Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Wedding Gown That Made History
Lilly Friedman doesn't remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancèñudwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.
For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge. How was he ever going to find such a dress in theBergenBelsenDisplaced Person's camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?
Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute. In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.
For two weeks Miriam the seamstress worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.
A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness. Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva.
He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving atAuschwitz. For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finallyBergenBelsen.
Lilly Friedman and her parachute dress on display in theBergenBelsenMuseum
Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town ofCelleon January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig's wedding. The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them. When a Sefer Torah arrived fromEnglandthey converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh.
"My sisters and I lost everything - our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home." Six months later, Lilly's sister Ilona wore the dress when she married Max Traeger. After that came Cousin Rosie. How many brides wore Lilly's dress? "I stopped counting after 17." With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly's gown was in great demand.
In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean toAmerica. Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, "not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home."
Home was theU.S.HolocaustMemorialMuseuminWashington
,D.C.When Lily's niece, a volunteer, told museum officials about her aunt's dress, they immediately recognized its historical significance and displayed the gown in a specially designed showcase, guaranteed to preserve it for 500 years.
But Lilly Friedman's dress had one more journey to make.BergenBelsen, the museum, opened its doors on October 28, 2007. The German government invited Lilly and her sisters to be their guests for the grand opening. They initially declined, but finally traveled toHanoverthe following year with their children, their grandchildren and extended families to view the extraordinary exhibit created for the wedding dress made from a parachute.
Lilly's family, who were all familiar with the stories about the wedding inCelle, were eager to visit the synagogue. They found the building had been completely renovated and modernized. But when they pulled aside the handsome curtain they were astounded to find that the Aron Kodesh, made from a kitchen cabinet, had remained untouched as a testament to the profound faith of the survivors. As Lilly stood on the bimah once again she beckoned to her granddaughter, Jackie, to stand beside her where she was once a kallah. "It was an emotional trip. We cried a lot."
Two weeks later, the woman who had once stood trembling before the selective eyes of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele returned home and witnessed the marriage of her granddaughter.
The three Lax sisters - Lilly, Ilona and Eva, who together survived Auschwitz, a forced labor camp, a death march and Bergen Belsen - have remained close and today live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn. As mere teenagers, they managed to outwit and outlive a monstrous killing machine, then went on to marry, have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and were ultimately honored by the country that had earmarked them for extinction.
As young brides, they had stood underneath the chuppah and recited the blessings that their ancestors had been saying for thousands of years. In doing so, they chose to honor the legacy of those who had perished by choosing life.
In MEMORIAM - 63 YEARS LATER
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!
Now, more than ever, withIraq,Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Today was a very sad day for me. Not able to put a finger on why, still don't know ...but I kept going and did the things I needed to do to take care of me.
Today the bright spot was such inspiration form SP members of many groups and reading others words. Hope it will be a better day tomorrow. Well.. Nope I won't let it be..
Going to go to bed early tonight and try and really get some good sleep.
Many Hugs to all.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I found this today on Google and wanted to share it with you. It makes alot of sense to me and I sure need it.
Diabetes diet: Need some motivation?
By Mayo Clinic
By Mayo Clinic staff
Your diabetes diet probably focuses on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It's the same healthy-eating plan that's best for everyone, but it's not always easy to follow your diabetes diet. Consider these five barriers to healthy eating — and common-sense strategies to overcome them.
Barrier: Healthy foods are expensive.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can put a serious dent in your food budget. But the money is well spent. Consider it an investment in your health. Then get creative about saving money in the produce aisles:
■Stick to seasonal fruits and vegetables.
■Buy fruits and vegetables that are on sale.
■Shop at local farmer's markets or fresh produce stands.
■Choose whole fruits and vegetables, rather than the chopped, sliced or bagged variety.
■Buy only as much fresh produce as you know you'll eat.
■Try frozen fruits and vegetables.
■Grow your own vegetables in a pot or garden.
It might help to look at your total grocery bill, too. The more you spend on fruits and vegetables, the less you're likely to spend on chips, cookies and other junk food.
Barrier: You love ethnic foods.
From jambalaya to wontons, food is an expression of culture. But all cuisine can be prepared in healthier ways. Challenge yourself to make healthier versions of your favorite ethnic foods.
■Recipe says fry the food in oil or butter? Try baking or broiling it instead.
■Recipe calls for cheddar cheese or nuts? Use half the recommended amount.
■Recipe for a baked good calls for 1 cup butter? Try 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.
■Recipe calls for frosting? Drizzle a glaze made with a sugar substitute — or skip the frosting entirely.
For more ideas, check out diabetes cookbooks that focus on ethnic foods.
Barrier: Your family doesn't get it.
From weeknight dinners to holiday gatherings, food is often the center of family life. If your family members don't seem supportive of the changes you're trying to make, help them understand why healthy eating and portion control are so important. Your diabetes diet helps you:
■Control your blood sugar level
■Lose excess pounds
■Prevent diabetes complications, such as heart disease, kidney damage and nerve damage
Remember, change may be hard for your family members, too. But healthy foods and portion control are good for everyone. With your family's support, healthy eating can become a way of life.
Barrier: You want to be social.
It's hard to turn down a dessert or snack when it's offered to you, especially if everyone else is joining in. But you can eat sweets or other treats once in a while without feeling guilty or sabotaging your diabetes diet. Just plan ahead.
■Join the team for pizza after the game, but only one slice.
■Enjoy happy hour with a diet soda in hand. If you order alcohol, opt for one light beer or a glass of dry wine.
■Show up at the neighborhood get-together with enough good-for-you snacks to share.
■Meet your best friend for dinner. Suggest sharing a meal, or ask the server to put half the meal in a take-home container before it's served to you.
■Say yes to dessert once in a while. Just remember to scale back on the carbohydrates in your meal to compensate.
Barrier: You don't have the energy to focus on your diabetes diet.
You're busy. It may seem that following your diabetes diet only adds to your stress level. But there's a catch. If you don't follow your diabetes diet, you may feel even worse. So make it easy:
■Stock the kitchen with good-for-you foods that are easy to prepare or grab on the go.
■Gather diabetes-friendly recipes — and use them to plan simple meals ahead of time.
■Post your diabetes exchange lists prominently.
■Keep your food log handy.
If you're prepared to eat healthy foods, you won't need to give your diabetes diet a second thought while you're busy juggling other demands.
Barriers be gone!
Your motivation to stick with your diabetes diet will likely improve as you begin to tackle your barriers to healthy eating. And your hard work is sure to pay off. Look forward to feeling better and maintaining better control of your diabetes. Believe that what you're doing matters — and that you're worth it.
© 1998-2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only.
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