In honor of Holocaust Remembrance day I recall my mother, who together with her sister were hidden in a Catholic school in southern France as children of the Holocaust.
As recently as 2016 I found the below picture within a French article which happened to include a picture of my mother and her sister (top row first on left and second row first on left).
We will be forever grateful to Madame Germaine (on the left below pictured with my aunt in center, many years later). Madame Germaine was recognized for her courage in hiding over 100 children and saving them from the horrors experienced by over 6 million who perished.
My mother and her sister were incredibly strong to make it through those years helping one another as well as the others. My aunt spoke of when the Nazis would come to call on the school. A warning message was sent by others and the Jewish children would run out of the home and hide on the property to avoid capture.
The below link is an article from France which speaks of the story of the Chateau and the genuine courage and kindness of Madame Germaine.
If ever I have a bad day, I pause and gain strength from recalling the stories I was told by my aunt of the challenges they experienced and overcame. Stories so many of us can only imagine. Stories we repeat in our minds and tell our children so they never occur again and we all can learn and improve and do better.
While this is my past, what I draw upon for courage and strength, each of us has a story, a history we can learn from, to draw from. Consider yours when you need to find strength.
May their memory be a blessing. Never forget.