Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This past year has been full of the Holocaust for me. Since publishing “Tutti’s Promise” 11 months ago I have been speaking about the Holocaust and sharing what my mother experienced during those dreadful years. I have spoken at high schools and middle schools, public schools and private schools, Jewish day schools and religious schools. I have spoken at churches and synagogues. I have shared the story at libraries, Jewish community centers, and author events. I have presented at universities, community centers and was interviewed on the radio twice.
I have sold books at many planned events but also unexpectedly at a restaurant while eating dinner, on a cruise ship while on vacation, at a wedding reception, and after a memorial service.
Just before New Years I received a package that was full of letters from one of the schools that my mother and I visited. There were about 50 letters and cards addressed to both my mother and myself from students and staff.
One of the students wrote:
This story has brought to light the true meaning of perseverance, courage, compassion and hope. It shows us the ugliness of hatred and the consequences of it. For the truth behind your story, I too promise to speak out against the bad in the world to ensure I work towards making it a better place. (Marangelis)
. . . it is now up to us the youth to keep spreading the message of peace and equality. You have my word that I will do whatever possible to keep hate and prejudice out of my life and the lives of others around me. (Yael)
. . . this book has opened my mind on how we should treat another person. (Anthony)
I somehow want to make this world a more peacefull [sic] place so we can not forget, but look at how far we have come since the Holocaust. (Sheyenne)
Every student had something incredibly meaningful to say. These letters brought tears to my eyes. To see my work have this kind of impact on readers is amazing. THIS is why I wrote “Tutti’s Promise.”
For all that you experienced mom, I want to say, #WeRemember.
For all the survivors, #WeRemember.
For all those that perished, #WeRemember.
For all those doing the work today to stem hatred and prejudice, #WeRemember.
Now I ask all my readers and followers –
please share your own #weremember sign
and pledge how you will remember
and make the world a better place.