Writing Partners

Our volunteer writing partners are people of different ages, life stages and religious, cultural and education backgrounds. They share the desire to learn more about the Holocaust and support survivors in telling their stories in the manner that was meaningful to them.

Survivor:  Klara DeHond

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I had two experiences interviewing Holocaust survivors for Sustaining Memories — during the war, one was a fifteen-year-old boy from Poland and the other was a ten-year-old girl from the Netherlands. Although I had heard many survivor stories in the past, these interviews gave me a full-blown experience of the senses — picturing their shelters, smelling the fear they lived with every day, listening for sounds of danger, tasting the scraps of food they managed to gather and touching their loved ones in comforting them. I learned in detail the ingenuity and the courage it took for these young people to live through the horror and survive to become grounded and successful human beings. They grew up, became proficient in their careers, found mates and created families. I felt very humbled by the experience of interviewing these people. As much as they described their experiences, writing them down did not do these horrific stories any justice. For all stories that have been told, described and conveyed, we, free of this experience, can never really understand or fully take in the horrors these people have volunteered to help make history alive.

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