Israel (8-Sep-2011)

After coming back from the US, I heard from many people that they had read my blog. I apologize for not having added anything there since then. That is not because there was nothing to blog, but more because I have been rather busy.

A short overview of the things that have happened since:

I received many reactions to the article in the Forward, which was published (on the front page!) of the June 17th issue.

I’ve gotten in touch with a literary agent in New York City: he is very interested in my project.

A documentary maker has expressed interest in making a documentary about the subject.

In June, Irene Lion, who died in the Noorderhuis in Hoogeveen in March  1939, just three months after arriving in the Netherlands, 13 years old,  finally got a marker on the Jewish Cemetery in Hoogeveen. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the ceremony.

I finished my research in the National Archives in The Hague.

After a busy summer and a short holiday in Italy, I left for Israel on Monday, September 5th. I had very little time to prepare my visit before leaving the Netherlands.

Tuesday morning I went to Bat Yam for my first Israeli interview. This is the first time in 10 years that I’m in Israel, but one thing had not changed: the traffic is horrendous, and the driving is definitely, let’s say,  Middle Eastern style. I had to rent a GPS as my own GPS does not know the country of Israel, and this one is really bad, so I have a lot of trouble finding the address. The interview is by no means an easy one. Once the Mrs. of the house comes back she asks me at least once a minute if I want something to drink or eat. Very friendly, but it is hard to concentrate on the story line and I fear I will have a hard time making the transcription.

Wednesday morning I drive myself to Kfar Saba to interview Gustel Moses. This interview is a very smooth one, Mrs. Moses has a very good memory and is very cooperative and to the point.

Back in Ramat E’fal, where I’m staying with family, I discover that my laptop had retired: it refuses to switch on. With the help of another computer I try to figure out what the problem is, and discover that it  might mean the end of my laptop, which was due to be replaced in a month’s  time anyway. All in all this leaves me feeling quite handicapped, as all the phone numbers and e-mail addresses that I need to set up my appointments in Jerusalem next week are in my computer, and I cannot access them right now. So I have to find some creative ways to get in touch with people, using old-fashioned methods like the telephone instead of e-mail.

Tomorrow I will go to Jerusalem, where on Sunday I will be at my dear nephew’s wedding. After that there will be four more “working” days, in which I’m hoping to meet people that I’ve corresponded with over the past years. And hopefully I will get to interview some more people, but there too I am “disabled” without my laptop. I will pay a visit to Yad Vashem and hopefully talk to somebody there about my project.

All in all, this trip is completely different than my trip to the US.