Monday, June 23, 2008

42 Year Later...Meeting Anneke Again

The Hebrew word for Love is on Anneke's license plate:

Here she is showing us the photo of the people who hid in her home for three years. The photo was taken the day the war ended and it was safe for them to see daylight again. Can you even imagine? I cannot.
In 1961 I went to Israel from California, I was short of my 20th birthday...I had been traveling in Europe...maybe one day I will blog the whole story, but for now its enough to say that while in Israel (a five week trip that lasted five years) I met a young woman from Holland, her name was Anneke. We were both young, idealistic, having come from different backgrounds, mine Jewish, hers Christian. She had a connection to Israel ever much or more deep than my own. She is the daughter of parents, who during World War two, when Jews were being herded like cattle and put into train cars to be carried to camps where they were exterminated, hid eight Jewish people in their home in Holland for three long years. This of course was at great risk to their own lives and the lives of their three children, should they be caught.

I had the honor on this vacation to visit Anneke in her current home in Michigan for the first time after that first meeting 42 years ago in Israel. To say it was an emotional visit would be an understatement. It encompassed several things to make it so.

First, just seeing each other after all these years, (Anneke is responsible for keeping our friendship going as she picks up the phone and calls me often. She is not an e-mailer) and catching up and revisiting our early years together as young brides, mothers on the kibbutz where we then lived...Then, being with her a short year after the death of her dear husband, who she met and married during our time together in Israel. I missed not being able to re-meet him as well. And this was sad on all fronts. And finally, because we had the high honor of sitting and listening first hand as Anneke shared with us the story of her parents heroic deeds and the impact they had on her as a young child age 3-6 yrs.

Her hospitality was beyond measure. Her home lovely, very European in style and feel, a collector of antiques, art, books, (her husband left a library of over 8000 books and they were all in her home) was just fun to wander from room to room...not to mention the garden where he had planted over 1000 trees and made lovely natural gardens of flowers and other plants. We were only there one day, but it was filled with love beyond belief.


  1. what an amazing story and from two amazing women!

  2. Wow.. what a great story. what courage her parents had and what a great thing they did.
    sounded like a lovely visit even if it were short.
    Love the pictures.

  3. Lynn...

    Thank you very much for sharing this story with us all... it's a tribute to the human spirit and to compassion...

    I also would like to thank you for you thoughtful comment on my latest post... I'm glad to hear that you husband isn't ill and that your trip has gone forward...

    I wrote a bit more to you in the comment section on my own site... you are such a kind hearted friend... I value you and our connection so much...

    Thank you for your candor and your willingness to share your story (and the story of history and all of us) with us...

    Many hugs and kisses to you...


  4. Hi Lynn, what a terrific meeting and I loved to hear the story about your friend's parents hiding away the Family during 3 years, the courage I mean braveness of all those who dared do this is amazing and a big big example of humanity.
    I hope your DH will feel better and that you can do the driving without problems, I send you too a big hug and I always love your roadmovie pictures and the great stories,

  5. Lynn so moving and amazing. HOw wonderful you two have kept in touch all these years and remet again to share stories. You, Lynn, are an amazing woman. I am reading backwards so don't know yet abt DH being ill. Have a happy rest of the trip. Suki

  6. Thank you all for your kind words.
    I am just a simple me...nothing special really...but Anneke talks all over the country to keep the memory alive of what her parents did, thier heroic deed, and the holocaust itself. We must never forget.

    DH is feeling better so we are on the road again. I'll check in when I am able.

    Hugs to all and thanks for all your support.

  7. Wow. That sounds like a great visit and great friendship. I like how her husband left her a living legacy, a living memory in the 1,000 trees!

  8. what a truly lovely post this is, very touching and heartwarming and tear making...why aren't there more people like them left these days? sigh...keep on enjoying yourt trip and i'll catch up with you later on. hugs and wfs.

  9. Lynn, thanks for sharing such a moving story of your reunion with your friend ... I really enjoyed hearing about how friendships are maintained over space and time ... and what brings people together in the first place. blessings,

  10. What a beautiful story Lynn!
    It really touched me.
    I come from the netherlands as welland know this history.
    So wonderful there were people like Anneke's parents who risked their lives for others!
    I can imagine that it must have been emotional to see Anneke again, but fun also.


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!