[Read] ➪ Among the Reeds Author Tammy Bottner – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Among the Reeds summary Among the Reeds , series Among the Reeds , book Among the Reeds , pdf Among the Reeds , Among the Reeds 46baabb062 During The Dark Days Of The Holocaust, A Jewish Family Struggles To SurviveWhen Her Son Was Born, Tammy Bottner Experienced Flashbacks Of Being Hunted By The Nazis The Strange Thing Is, These Experiences Didn T Happen To Her They Happened To Her Grandmother Decades Earlier And Thousands Of Miles AwayBack In Belgium, Grandma Melly Made Unthinkable Choices In Order To Save Her Family During WWII, Including Sending Her Two Year Old Son, Bottner S Father, Into Hiding In A Lonely Belgian Convent Did The Trauma That Tammy Bottner S Predecessors Experience Affect Their DNA Did She Inherit The Memories Of The War Time Trauma In Her Very Genes In This Moving Family Memoir, Told Partly From Melly S Perspective, The Author, A Physician, Recounts The Saga Of Her Family S Experiences During The Holocaust This Tale, Part History, Part Scientific Reflection On Epigenetics, Takes The Reader On A Journey That May Read Like A Novel, But Is All The Fascinating For Being True


10 thoughts on “Among the Reeds

  1. says:

    Among the Reeds The True Story of How a Family Survived the Holocaust is by Tammy Bottner Tammy tells the story of her Grandparents and her Father as they managed to survive the Holocaust She took the stories her Grandmother had told her, her Father s stories, stories of other relatives, and research on the places mentioned in the stories and created their story It is a painful story to read because of the Holocaust, of course, but also because of the unhappiness of her Grandmother throughout her life It definitely shows the culture of Jewish life before the war and how customs conspired against Melly Melly was born to Polish Jews who were trying to find a peaceful place to live They were on their way to Germany when Melly made her appearance on September 30, 1921 Since she was born in Leignitz, Germany, she became a German citizen at birth Melly s Father was greatly disappointed that she was a girl and this set the tone for their relationship Melly was also born a pessimist She was sad and unhappy for most of her life Having a Father that took his disappointment out on her and treated her like both a son and daughter didn t help Melly took some of her anger out on her sister Inge through incessant teasing When her brother Nathan was born, she was both relieved and resentful of how her Father fawned over Nathan Eventually, her Father left the family and went to Holland intending to send for them Her Mother had to find a way to raise the three children by herself with no income From a privileged childhood to one of poverty was a huge move for Melly Melly finally moved across the street from her Mother to give herself some space However, the owner came to her room and attempted to rape her Melly got away and went home Soon after that, her Mother informed Melly that she was to be married Melly was married to a peasant from Galacia and her life really changed Genek was entranced by Melly but the marriage was not based on love However, they stayed together through the Holocaust and the many moves they made in their life afterwards They eventually moved to Brussels, Belgium where they lived during the Holocaust They lived as non Jews in the open To keep their beloved son safe, they placed him with the Jewish Resistance who in turn place him in a convent Here bewildered two year old Bobby lived in darkness and without affection for two years He only spoke Yiddish and German and the nuns spoke French When her daughter, Irene, was born, she too was placed with the Resistance She was place in an individual home and her parents had no idea she was Jewish This book is good and one that should be read It isn t easy to read but it is essential Tammy has managed to make us feel the anguish her Grandparents felt in sending their children off and the pain that resulted when they returned The distance between Melly and Irene was never breached Bobby had problems his entire life due to his placement in the convent How does a child recover from the feelings of abandonment when he has no idea why he is being sent away This book really makes you think about how you would react to a situation like this Could you send your child off with a strange woman and not know where he will be nor how long he will be gone Did you do the right thing


  2. says:

    This is an exquisitely written book which describes the unthinkable challenges faced by the author s family during the time of the Holocaust The story is primarily set in Belgium but follows the characters to many other setting as well One feels present as the characters struggle to survive the attempted genocide of all Jews during World War II The loss of life and lack of humanity, as well as the damage to the Jewish culture, and near success of the Hitler regime is astonishing and shameful Through sheer force of will, luck, perseverance, and love however several of the author s relatives survive Dr Bottner graces us with an intimate portrait of her family, including sharp insights into the continued effects of trauma, which is passed on to the following generations A beautiful and insightful true story strongly recommend


  3. says:

    A book everyone should read.I m so glad to have read this book I will never forget the Bottner family, and the way the author went into such detail I felt at times that I was right there with all of them, going through what they went through How each character is brought to life, I feel as if I got to know them personally.


  4. says:

    The author experienced nightmares when she went through pregnancy, childbirth and having had no reasons to do so, living safe as they were in U.S., except as she realised the nightmares and fears had to do with the experiences of her grandparents who had gone through holocaust era in Europe, and she as a child had heard elders talk about their lives albeit not told by them She wondered if those fears had become part of the DNA, and thus collected the memories of those who she could speak to, added to general known facts.About Belgium, and everything she writes, it s very informative, of course, but when it comes to the decree of wearing the yellow star on sleeve, there is one bit she doesn t mention that s publicised elsewhere namely, that the king went out wearing one, thus declaring he was against the antisemitic decree, and Jews of Belgium fared better than, for instance, those of Holland What she does say is true though The French Belgians were among the most supportive in Europe when it came to helping the Jewish people during the war The Flemish Belgians were much less inclined to help the Jews, and in next door Holland the Dutch tended to support the Nazi anti Jewish machine The French in France, ironically, did not support the Jews for the most part in that country the Germans easily tapped into the society s anti Semitic base Of course, there were outliers in every country, but these were the general trends It is hard to make sense of these patterns, but the realization that the local peoples attitudes could make such a huge difference in the outcome of the Nazis plans is chilling, particularly as so few countries came to the Jews aid.Hitler and his henchman Eichmann were adept at assessing and manipulating the locals attitude toward their Jewish neighbors In countries like Poland and the Ukraine, where anti Semitism was rampant, and violence entrenched, the Nazis handily whipped the masses into an anti Jewish frenzy within days of taking power In these occupied countries, where young men felt inadequate under foreign rule, the Jews were an easy target The Germans didn t even have to do their own dirty work locals were happy enough to stage pogroms, rounding up Jews for humiliation and torture In Lvov, for example, a brutal pogrom took four thousand Jewish lives in the first week of German occupation Later in the war, in Vichy France, a special French police division, the Milice, was formed in this unoccupied, allegedly free zone, specifically to hunt for and arrest Jews In Belgium the Germans implemented their anti Jewish laws slowly, but by September 1942 they had begun rounding Jews up for deportation While initially claiming to be transporting these people to work details, the brutality of the roundups, and the inclusion of the elderly and the infirm, children and babies, made the deportations sinister conclusions fairly obvious to anyone with the courage to face the truth In fact, the Belgian Resistance movement had sent a young man, Victor Martin, to Germany, as a spy in February of 1943 He was traveling on an academic pretext, but his true mission was to find out the fate of the thousands of Jews being transported by cattle cars to the east He returned with the news people are being burned This first hand information about mass extermination in German death camps confirmed the fears that those who were deported would not be coming back His sinister report contributed to many Jews decision to hide their children in Belgium Victor Martin was eventually captured by the Nazis, but managed to escape from two different concentration camps, and to lead a normal life after the war And this further detail of fact contradicts the supposedly effect of the dramatic show of solidarity by the king The trucks carrying Jews, and other unsavory people arrested by the Gestapo, took the prisoners first to an internment camp The Germans had built a transit camp, a way station, for Belgian deportees in the city of Mechelen Malines in French , located midway between Antwerp and Brussels, the two cities home to most of the Belgian Jews From Malines, trains full of prisoners, called transports, each carrying a thousand people, left regularly for the killing camps, most to Auschwitz A total of twenty eight such trains, each carrying a thousand people, departed Malines with their human cargo between the summers of 1942 and 1944 As the rounding up came closer, they tried to save the young We all knew about the Resistance There were people, Jews and non Jews, who were clandestinely fighting the Germans We heard that there were ways to get help, ways to hide Jewish children Can you comprehend the desperation we were in Here was our choice keep our child at home and know that, if we were captured by the Gestapo, as was likely, he would be killed along with us Maybe we would have to endure seeing him killed before our eyes Maybe they would torture him and make us watch Or, we could give him up to strangers, knowing nothing about who would care for him, but hopefully saving his life If we chose the latter option, it was likely he would grow up without parents, because it didn t look likely we would make it The best possible scenario, the one we prayed for, was that the war would end, we would survive, and be reunited with our boy What made this decision even heartbreaking was Bobby s young age He was too little to understand what we were going to do, or why There was no way to prepare him for what was coming With my brother Nathan, of course, it was easier At fourteen, he was capable of taking care of himself, of understanding what was going on He could communicate, he could make decisions He didn t even seem like a child, although technically he was one We knew Nathan could take care of himself But Bobby Bobby was two Thinking about giving him up made my entire body shake I couldn t sleep, couldn t eat Desperately I vowed that I would survive I would not allow my child to grow up an orphan So maybe Bobby saved my life Because I was so low, so consumed by blackness, that I would likely have given up if I hadn t had my child to live for About the young woman, a school teacher, who she sent off her two year old son with As the horrific roundups of Jews escalated in the summer of 1942, Andree met members of the secret Resistance movement Wanting to do something to help save the children, she decided to join the underground effort despite the risks to her personal safety And the risks were great The Nazi regime demanded absolute obedience Anyone arrested for potential sabotage against the Nazis could expect brutal and sadistic retribution Yet many intrepid souls risked their lives to do whatever they could to undermine the hated regime One of her recruiters was a woman named Ida Sterno Sterno was part of the CDJ, a small group within the Belgian Resistance devoted to helping Jews Sterno realized that, with her affinity for kids and her blonde hair and blue eyes, Andree would be a perfect escort, a courier to accompany children to safe houses She was given the code name, Claude Fournier, by which all her contacts in the CDJ, as well as the parents of hidden children, would know her Her job was to transport children from their families homes to their hiding places This was a dangerous job, and an emotionally wrenching one Andree was given an address and some brief instructions She arrived at a home and had to take a child, or two, often very young, away from their parents Always she arrived to a scene of tearful separation The little children would cling to their mothers The older ones would often be the ones comforting their parents Two year old Bobby was heartbroken at being sent away, and was very sick, while his mother was so heartsick she didnt notice her pregnancy until pointed out by her sister Inge whose escape herself was nothing short of miracle Irene was born and Bobby brought back, and got better, but of course the children had to be both sent into hiding Irene was loved and well cared for by the only parents she knew as a baby and toddler Her world, unlike that of her brother s, was a secure and happy place Having been separated from Melly and Genek at only three months of age she had no memory of them, no knowledge of their existence She was completely content growing up as the little Bouchat girl, the adored adopted baby of a loving Catholic family These first two years of her life, ironically, would be the happiest of the next two decades There are lovely photographs at this point of the various people across generations, and it s quite heartening to see them, especially of the children who did survive The author s grandfather Genek Bottner hailed from Lvov in Galicia and had relocated to Belgium alone, having walked all the way with another friend being Jewish, they would be in danger if found travelling and now had no news of his family back in Lvov as the war progressed It is ironic that Stalin s government, virulently anti Semitic, would inadvertently save over two hundred thousand Polish Jews lives Beginning in 1940, the Soviets deported over a million Poles, including Jews, into remote areas of the Soviet Union as slave laborers Many of these men worked under grueling physical conditions in Siberia and Eurasia However, some of these Jews survived the war they were some of the only Polish Jews who did The rest, over three million Polish Jews who were not deported by the Soviets, perished in the Holocaust The only person from his family who survived was his youngest brother who joined the Russian army, just before Germany invaded for a second time, this time in the process of going against Russia When the Germans took control of Lvov they renamed the city Lemberg Despite its now German name, however, the city continued to be a hotbed of opposition, and strife between ethnic groups The streets erupted in violence between Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, and Germans Even the brutal Nazis had a hard time retaining order The Nazi regime decided to give the people a common enemy The Germans circulated a rumor that the Jews had executed Ukrainian political prisoners This rumor sparked massive pogroms by Ukrainian nationals living in Lvov, as well as support for the killing of Jews by Einsatzgruppe C The Einsatzgruppen were mobile death squads composed of German Secret Police S.S or Gestapo These battalion sized squads travelled from city to city right behind the advancing German army Their express directive was to kill all undesirables in the area the army had invaded The squads were supported by vans carrying food and ammunition, just as any fighting force would be They were very well organized There were four main squads, A,B,C, and D, each assigned a specific area of Poland and Ukraine As they reached a city, the S.S rounded up the undesirables mostly Jews, some Roma, some political prisoners and marched them to predesignated killing sites in the nearby forests The victims were forced to strip, hand over all their valuables, stand at the edge of a mass grave, and wait to be shot Sometimes the victims were forced to dig their own graves prior to being murdered At first the Einsatzgruppen targeted mostly Jewish men, but soon included women and children in this ghastly execution scheme By 1943, the Einsatzgruppe squads would kill over a million people, mostly by shooting, and later in mobile gas vans Within two weeks of the Nazis arrival in Lvov, four thousand Jews had been murdered in the streets in massive pogroms Countless were shot by the roving death squads There is no record of exactly how many people were killed, or where, by Einsatzgruppe C, as the squad carried out its demonic deeds in the city The following month another pogrom called the Petilura Days resulted in another two thousand Jewish murders in Lvov in just two days Women were raped, men were beaten, synagogues were burned, Jewish businesses were destroyed and looted in an orgy of violence And killings weren t enough, at that In August 1941 the Nazis demanded that the Jewish population of Lvov pay a ransom of a staggering twenty million rubles The understanding was that paying this ransom would protect the Jewish community from harm The Nazis took many Jews as hostages to ensure that this sum would be raised Somehow the Jewish community was able to collect enough funds to pay this enormous fine, on time, but once the Nazis had received the ransom they killed the Jewish hostages anyway In October 1941 Dr Parnes was also killed because he was not cooperative enough with the handing over of Jews for deportation to the Janowska concentration camp He was quickly replaced by another prominent Jew.In November 1941 the Germans established a ghetto in Lvov, relocating tens of thousands of Jews into a small area surrounded by barbed wire fences, where overcrowding, disease, and malnutrition were the rule Some five thousand sick and elderly Jews were killed during this relocation, by Nazi soldiers and by Ukrainian hooligans who hated the Jews as much as the Nazis did Many Jews subsequently died in the ghetto due to the abysmal living conditions The ghetto was periodically raided by the Nazis, who seized Jews for deportation, or killed them right there in the ghetto Following the raids, the Jews still living outside the ghetto were then forced to move in There were periodic attempts by the Lvov Jews over the next years to resist and fight, but, with few exceptions, these efforts were quickly and ruthlessly quashed Next came the mass deportation of Jews to labor camps and to concentration camps The Belzec camp received over fifty thousand Jews, and Janowska camp was a close second place recipient The Lvov ghetto lasted about two years In 1943 the Nazis liquidated it, sending any remaining survivors to Auschwitz or other killing camps, or marching them into the forest to be shot Of the original hundred thousand Jewish inhabitants, as well as an additional hundred thousand Jewish refugees who had moved to Lvov prior to the Nazi occupation, only a handful were still alive when the Lvov ghetto was destroyed in late 1943 Even fewer were alive when the Soviet Army liberated the city in 1944 Among those who perished were Yehudah and Beila Bottner, and two of their four sons, Joseph and Ephraim, as well as grandparents, scores of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and hundreds of friends.Old people, young ones, children, babies, all were gone Religious, secular, Hassidic, Zionist, agnostic, atheist it made no difference If they were Jewish they were doomed There are no known records of precisely where and when the Bottner family died Probably they were either killed in a pogrom, shot in the killing fields around Lvov by the Nazis, or deported to Belzec concentration camp and killed there Yehudah and his two sons did survive long enough to relocate to the Lvov ghetto Work cards with their names on can be found in the archives in the Holocaust Museum But Beila Berta disappeared perhaps she died of natural causes, perhaps she was killed in a pogrom or in the relocation process The very last communication from her was in April 1940 in a telegram Genek had sent his parents notification of little Bobby s birth and Berta replied via telegram, sending congratulations Genek s one solace was that his parents did know they had a grandson They would never meet him, but Genek would later say that he hoped it had brought them a little joy Genek was caught, but was sent to work as slave labour in a factory, instead of a death camp The Germans used forced labor slave labor in every country they occupied Most of these laborers were transported from their own countries into Germany to work in factories, agriculture, or construction projects Two hundred thousand people were conscripted from the tiny country of Belgium alone From larger countries, many people were seized and sent to work as slaves Slave labor was a mainstay in the Nazi economy millions of people were used as slaves by the Nazi regime during the war Jews and other subhuman undesirables were worked literally to death, but other prisoners served as free labor as well One shocking revelation is about a now well known brand It is not known which factory he was sent to, or the exact date, but he would later tell Bobby of the three months he had spent working as a forced laborer for the Nazis He was a skilled furrier most likely the Germans took advantage of this skill and had him working in a garment factory, probably helping to sew uniforms for German soldiers It is possible he worked at Hugo Boss, a clothing company that made Nazi war uniforms, that would later become a fashion giant The only reason he was not killed or sent to Malines and then to Auschwitz was that somehow he avoided being recognized as a Jew He probably passed as a Christian Pole Melly was frantic with worry but stuck to the careful precautions they had worked out beforehand, just in case Genek, meanwhile, spent three months as a virtual slave The workers were given little food and very little rest Their hours were long, from before dawn until well after dark, seven days a week They lived in abysmal conditions in cold, damp, rodent infested cramped rooms Their Nazi slave masters forced them to stand at attention for hours for roll call, beat them with riding crops if they didn t move quickly enough when ordered to do something, and demanded unquestioning obedience They were given work quotas and were threatened with beatings, or worse, if they didn t meet them He was smart enough and lucky enough to escape The couple met, went safely to one of their flats, and a while later, desperate to see their son, went to meet him Heartbreaking description This author makes this work an account enough to give a good basic idea of the times When allies finally arrived in Brussels, Desperate Nazis, realizing their time was up, spent their final hours of occupation destroying people and evidence They executed prisoners even as the British troops made their way into the city Retreating Nazi soldiers set fire to the Palace of Justice in the center of Brussels, hoping to destroy documents that could be used against them by the Allies But as the stately building burned, hundreds of Belgians organized themselves into a human chain, rescuing documents by passing them from one person to the next Genek went to fetch Bobby, walking seventy miles On the way back they got a lift on a truck in a U.S soldiers convoy They spoke some language he had never heard before he couldn t understand what they said And one of them had a chocolate colored face He had never seen a man that color before Maybe he had eaten too much chocolate But they were nice Irene brought back home at two was traumatised, and never got reconciled to her mother Melly returned and married someone, Nathan was involved with Jewish homeland, but Inge was first, going to meet someone from Palestine Jewish entry into Palestine was severely restricted at this time Even after the destruction of two thirds of Europe s Jewish population in the Holocaust, Britain, bowing to Arab pressure, was turning away or imprisoning Jews attempting to enter Palestine When Inge s ship arrived in Haifa, Inge and the other Jewish Holocaust survivors from Europe were brought to a detention camp in Atlit, just south of the port of Haifa, by the British authorities Luckily she was only detained there briefly They migrated to Palestine, and Bottner family to Canada.


  5. says:

    EnlighteningI enjoy reading about WWII This is the first survivor s story I have read which tells about hidden children This book is well written A true story that will keep the reader engrossed.


  6. says:

    A Must ReadIncredible story and extremely well written.This book puts you in the heart of the Holocaust, reminding you of the brutality and the bravery.I m consumed with learning about this time period and this book took me there in a way I haven t felt before.Thanks to Tammy Bottner for sharing her Family s story.


  7. says:

    An book that will truly touch your heartThe reader might think yet another book about the Holocaust , however this book is most certainly worth reading The idea of epigenetics is fascinating the author explains this phenomenon in easy to understand language.Following this family s unique journey to from Israel is often heartbreaking the mental emotional anguish is monumental Well written thank you Tammy for sharing this story.


  8. says:

    Unless you have a heart of stone, you could not help but be moved by the subject of this book Tales of bravery against harrowing atrocities, you almost cannot believe it, and then you remember that this actually happened I would encourage you to read this book if you aim to learn about this dark period of our history and are looking for a different perspective than that of Anne Frank s However, I would absolutely urge you to read Anne s diary at all costs Highly recommended for anyone interested in holocaust literature.


  9. says:

    KnowingIt s incredible what these families had to go through No one knew There are no points disliked This is a well written book.


  10. says:

    Tender, poignant, and horrifying rendition of the author s father and family experience through the evil events of the German occupation of Brussels The intriguing concept of epigenetics is fascinating Could not put this down Thank you Dr Bottner What an intimate history lesson


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