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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Day 193 - May 10, 1940 Excerpt from my dad's memoir...Starry, Starry Night Belgian style!

"Before the evening fell I decided to venture a bit around while my Dad went to the shops to get bread and other supplies.  Suddenly, my daydreaming was interrupted, drawn upward by fighter planes battling each other in full view.

The dog-fight was between one coastal British patrol and an overbearing pompous Messherschmidt, cocksure of itself meeting the British plane.  It didn't take long before the Spitfire or whatever is was got the better of him and to our utter enjoyment shot him down.  A billowing white object released itself from which dangled a small black dot as the stricken plane plummeted to earth some distance away, drifting to towards the inward open countryside.

His landing could not have been contemplated to be anywhere near our spot as the wind took him further inland.  Nevertheless, as I was looking up some directions on old German maps found in my Grandmother's cupboard before departure was considered.  I now decided to check our position on these excellent maps.  All of a sudden, appearing from nowhere, a rubicond lady, French speaking came near me, all excited gesticulating towards another group like herself: in no time they surrounded my innocent person and now pointing at me as I held the German map.

Actually, the Germans had repaid us with them after having so irresponsibly destroyed our old towns, cities and lands so fiercely defended by the Belgian soldiers, mostly Flemish judging by the names on gravestones of the fallen.

Anyhow, those panicky citizens, accusing me in my own region, and in my own country with much ado are the biggest let down of the lot sowing the seeds of discord.  To take me for a German parachutist who was blown a couple of miles away was an act of complete stupidity and no decent excuse can be found for citizens who do not recognise their own inhabitants in a bilingual country.

After hearing all the noise, luckily, my mother and grandmother arrived simultaneously on the scene and could prove my identity and innocence and later my dad arrived to verify that.  It had to be seen!  My grandmother, a real fighter, soon put this group to shame for their ignorance and they scattered like cackling hens.

They were lucky that we had no time for them.  Later, we had a good laugh about it all while sitting around the campfire during supper - never mind the planes and war now.  We settled down for a healthy nights sleep.  My first one to remember under a starry sky.  This was the 10th of May, 1940, my birthday.

We proceeded on the road which divided the dunes and polder? ground following in the footsteps of a miserable multitude, head and backs bent, noses burning in the sun, trudging along.  We could have sung the boatsong but instead the sighing was stronger than the Volga flowing gently to the Black Sea.

Suddenly, a low flying plane of unrecognisable marking appeared over our heads and although it made a small stir in the masses nobody moved towards the ditches.  Possibly most of them had seen the tricolour - I had not from where I was.  I was the only one jumping for the ditch, to the laughing concern of the nearest crowd, who turned out to be our accusers of the day before - the French planes had become one of the rarest sights we had seen for a long time.  My father called me back and made me feel ashamed of myself - I could have crawled back into my skin."

To be continued ... by Louis Fynaut Memoir:  I Survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald on Google and Amazon 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Day 192 - People lost at Buchenwald Concentration Camp 72 years ago - Gone but not Forgotten!

Many kind people, from many nations and cultures helped my dad survive until,  The Liberation of Buchenwald, April 11, 1945. 72 years ago today!  He was liberated officially around 3:15 European Time.
The people who died in Buchenwald are gone but not forgotten!
My dad was a liberated man way before the official clock time!

In no particular dad's helpers!

Jewish people from all over Europe
Non Jewish people from all over Europe

The French girls from Lille in France.

I Wish You Enough .... Author unknown

Recently I overhead a father and daughter in their

last moments together at the airport.  The airline had
announced her departure and standing near the
security gate, they hugged and said, "I love you. I
wish you enough."

She in turn said, "Dad, our life together has been 

more than enough.  Your love is all I ever needed.  I
wish you enough too, Dad."  They kissed and she left.

He walked over towards the window where I was

seated.  Standing there I could see he wanted and
needed to cry.  I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but
he welcomed me in asking,  "Did you ever say
good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied.  "Forgive me for asking, but

why is this a forever good-bye?"I am old and she
lives much too far away.  I have challenges ahead,
and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my
funeral," he said.

"When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, "I

wish you enough.  May I ask what that means?"

He began to smile.  "That's a wish that has been

handed down for many generations within my family.
My parents used to say it to everyone."

He paused for a moment, looking up as if trying to

remember it in detail, he smiled even more.  "When
we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the
the other person to have a life filled with just enough
good things to sustain them," he continued and then
turning toward me he shared the following:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in
life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you
I wish you enough 'Hellos" to get you through the
final 'Good-byes'

Then he walked away.