Holocaust Revelations

Holocaust Revelations By Es Goodman

Mom kept over sixty years of her private war locked up inside her.

Mom is a survivor.

It was during one of my annual visits to New York when she decided to open up to me. That week in January was so cold: with record breaking minus fifteen-­‐degree temperatures, we decided to stay inside. Besides, being in California for the past two decades left me thin blooded, lending me inadequate to brave the winds.

Mom and I decided to go through her bedroom closet and organize it. Being the taller of the two, I took things down from the top shelf. There was a shallow cardboard box wedged in the back corner. The package had a dusty, plastic sheet over it. It seemed clear to me the box may have been there since the move-­‐in from the early 70’s. The carton and I made our way to her bed, where inside I found a brown, worn leather portfolio containing photographs. Perhaps Mom forgot it was there, but it intrigued me since I love old photos.

I motioned to Mom, “Come over and sit down with me for a minute.” She was in the back of her closet admiring a pair of shoes. At eighty-­‐four years old, Mom couldn’t possibly navigate in a heel that tall. We shared a laugh about the fact neither one of us could walk in those shoes.

Mom joined me at the bed, and that minute turned into four hours. Inside the binder were the only photos she had after the war. They traveled together from a Deportation Camp in Germany in 1945 to Ellis Island, New York in 1949. During those few hours chatting about the images spread out on her bed, I decided I needed to write Mom’s story down. Her memories are the basis of another story currently in the works.

The story I’d like to tell you now are about my journeys. It’s about how I came to find the information to go forward to write Mom’s memoir and the kindness of many strangers.

One particular black and white photograph in the binder piqued my interest—it was of a seated man, wearing a uniform with Royal Crests on his sleeves. He had only a slight smile, and showed sadness in his eyes. On the back, he wrote,

“Meiner Lieben Rozi, Als Erinnerung. Ernest Finch

Eutin, Marz 1946”

I asked Mom who Ernest Finch was, and she replied, “He’s the soldier who saved my life.” There was an awkward silence for what seemed like minutes but was only seconds.

“Ernest Finch,” she said again, without even turning the photo over to read the inscription. I asked her what he wrote and the translation went something like, “My dear Rozi, with inspiration, his name and Eutin, the name of the city in Germany and the year.”

“Please tell me what you remember about him,” I asked.

“The Germans put us on a train. I don’t know where they took us but it was a relief from the marching we did for days. Above us, I heard the roar of plane engines. Suddenly, a loud noise, lights of many colors flashed. Our train was bombed. My cousins and I ran toward the woods. I felt the warm, sticky feel of blood on my neck when I touched it, but I really don’t think I felt anything at that point. I was not in pain. I just wanted to run to safety. I ran as far as I could, until I couldn’t go on. Weak and barely able to breathe, I fell to the ground. I don’t know how long I’d been there, but I saw a tank. I remember thinking, ‘they’ll kill us for sure’. I must have passed out because the next thing I remember was waking up in a hospital bed. At that point, I don’t know how much time had passed. In the corner, sitting in a chair, much like in the picture, I see him. Ernest Finch.” She pointed to the photo.

She continued with her story, the details pouring out of her like water.

“He told me the story of how his Company saw me, and my 2 cousins bleeding in the woods. That day was May 3, 1945. He got us Red Cross and placed us in a hospital. He sent soldiers to stand guard daily for my safety and a few years later, he arranged for my relatives in New York to meet your Dad and I at Ellis Island, in America.”

My head was spinning as I absorbed all this new information. ‘I must write her story down,’ I promised myself. Living three thousand miles away, I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task. So much dialogue would be by telephone. More than sixty years passed since her ordeal. What would she want to talk about after so much time elapsed? I didn’t want it to sound like an interrogation. I’m sure she had enough of that all those years ago. In years past, the Spielberg Shoah Foundation approached Mom for her testimony. She declined them several times. I’m sure she had been questioned extensively, and would not welcome more no matter how many years passed by.

One mission kept gnawing at me. I needed to thank this man Ernest Finch, and his family. Mom told me she didn’t remember thanking him after the war ended. He at least deserved that much.

And so, when I got back to the comfort of my home computer, my research began. I posted a note to BAOR-­‐British Army Of The Rhine, and included Finch’s photo. I

posted the same notes and photos to all the British War Museum links I could find. I posted notes to Holocaust websites, and DP Camp websites. Months passed and I didn’t hear back from anyone. I got discouraged but kept sending notes and information to every website related to the British Zone DP camps.

Finally, that September, I received e-­‐mail from a lady in London, England named Lynne Finch. She told me Ernest Finch was her father. My heart raced when I finally thought all these months of research paid off. The pieces fit until she mailed me copies of photographs. Clearly, he was not the same soldier. My photo revealed a short man, with dark hair and eyes. Her father was tall and blond. Defeated but not down, we bonded a lasting friendship to this day. Lynne Finch is still searching for any information on her dad. I do what I can to help.

After many more months of research and “Googling,” I found a book written about the slave labor camp Muna Lubberstedt Mom was in after Auschwitz. I contacted the author and he kindly sent me his book, no charge. It is entirely written in German. Rudy Kahrs has been invaluable to me with research. He sent me copies of letters, documents, and pictures and some interpretation of the book he wrote. My next mission was to find someone to read the book to me or take up the German language.

After a few months, I got a response from BAOR’s website administrator whose name was Phil. Phil wrote me, “The uniform Ernest Finch is wearing in the photo shows he was a Warrant Officer. He’s someone very important in his Company. He will do more research and get back to me.” I heard nothing for a while after.

A few days later, an Englishman named Alan Yates emailed me with more information and book recommendations. Alan confirmed what Phil wrote. Ernest Finch was a Warrant Officer, Second Class in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. I’m elated because things are starting to piece together. Alan’s months of hard work eventually led to information that Ernest Finch was once ‘Ernst Fink’, a German man who fled Hitler’s Germany to go to England and fight with the Kings Army. Several books on the subject list these men and women as “Enemy Aliens.” After hearing this, my mother ‘s cousin who was with mom through the war, confirmed Ernest Finch spoke German and was a German Jew.

Through more research, we come to find ‘Ernst Fink’ was a “Dunera Boy.” This was a ship by the same name that sailed from England to Australia early on in the war. Great Britain was not convinced these ‘Enemy Aliens’ could be trusted, so they sent thousands there. Later on, Britain sent these men and women back to England. Many were sent back to Germany toward war’s end to serve as translators in POW camps.

‘Ernst Fink’ went back to England, and then sent to France and Germany to defend Great Britain. There he stayed until 1948, serving his Army as an interpreter in Germany and governed over the Deportation Camp my mother was placed in.

For a while this was as far as Alan and I got with information. I fretted, having come so far and now at a standstill. How was I going to find where he went? I desperately wanted to thank him for saving my Mom. I tried “Googling” his name but came up short with every spelling variation. Alan was helping but coming up short too. Information slowed down for both of us.

Finally, through Alan Yates’s diligence, we found Queen Mary ship registries showing Ernest Finch left England for the USA in 1948. He had changed his name from Fink to Finch. The ship registry showed Ernest’s wife name. I decided to “Google” it, and the first thing that Google brought up was an obituary. Ilsa Finch died in 2007. I got Goosebumps all over my body. I felt I was this close to thanking this family.

The obituary listed the names of two nieces living in San Diego. I used LinkedIn and Facebook to send messages. Two days later, I got a response back from one of the nieces. She offered me her mother’s phone number. We spoke at length and indeed, Ernest Finch was her Great Uncle. He had lived in San Diego till 1972, where he died. I offered my condolences and thanked her for his great deeds. We’ve spoken a few times after that, but I did what I set out to do and thank Ernest Finch and his family for saving my mom that fateful day.

To think; Ernest Finch, the Officer who saved my mothers life lived only an hour from me. Imagine, if Ernest Finch lived and I found him after 1989, which was when I moved out here? Mom used to come to California every year and stay for six weeks at a time. Imagine if Ernest Finch and Mom reunited? I wonder to this day if it would have been utterly wonderful, awkward or uneventful given the fact that Mom buried her secrets so deep within her.

My research led me to other places with the help of Alan Yates, but I will save them for another time. Alan has been invaluable to me, and my research. If not for him, I don’t know that I would have come this far. We have become very good friends but limited only to computer bytes. One day I would very much like to meet Alan Yates in person. I thank Alan every day for his research and persistence. Without him, I doubt I would have been able to connect the dots.

Alan Yates, thank you for all your hard work and kindness, and to Lynne, Phil and Rudy and Ilsa’s nieces. You have helped me through the kindness in your hearts, expecting nothing in return, I thank you all~ One day I will pay if forward.

Mom, I love you and I know how difficult this has been for you. Thank you. The genesis of this story is based on a book I’m writing.
The book’s working title is, “Because of Sergeant Finch.”
Fondly,

Es Goodman.

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Saying Goodbye

Saying so long to Mom was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Aside from being a wonderful Mother, she was my Best Friend.

We chatted every day between 1:00 and 1:30 each afternoon and would do Facetime weekly when my brother Joe went to visit Mom. It was always so hard to say goodbye between calls. ASK BOB! 🙂 We’d say “ok, bye” at least five times before hanging up the phone. Sometimes we would chat about the weather, or what day it was or how my day was going. We’d tell each other stories and share secrets.

Mom revealed an entire lifetime to me over the course of eight years. I wrote it all down during those daily phone chats. Mom is a survivor with a very heroic story to tell. BUT, she only told bits and pieces to family. ‘HerStory’ to her special people.

Mom had a tough life at times, to say the least. She survived Auschwitz and Muna Lubberstedt where she filled bombs and grenades for the enemy. But never once did she show bitterness about her struggles. That cliche, ‘It’ll make you stronger’ stood out right in front of Mom. Mom was extremely strong for her 4’10” frame.

Mom passed away one day before my Fathers birthday. Daddy was her greatest love, and I know Mom planned it so she could dance with him on his birthday. Mom loved to dance. Daddy, if you can hear me, I hope you met Mom and took her in your arms and danced.

Everyone that knows me well, knows I save those “pennies from heaven” in Daddy’s special hat I’ve kept all these years. Well, I found one penny on Dads birthday and now I know Mom and Dad are forever together again. . . I expect to find many more pennies they will throw down from the heavens.

Truth be told, I am a little bit selfish. Who am I going to call every day now?

Rest easy Mom, I love you. Give Daddy hugs and kisses from me.

 

Love,

Es

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For Those Who Have Never Loved a Dog, I Say…

For those who can’t understand my loss and question my grief in respect to what has transpired this past week; for those that say I lack compassion; I Say, Au Contraire. I have more compassion than you’ll possibly ever have.

Sadie was not here to witness the Boston bombings last week. But, Sadie was here when  the towers fell. She placed her paw in my hand and we grieved together. She witnessed many ills of the world and we shared our grief together every time. Yes, Sadie watched television, and loved to listen to the radio. Especially, “The Whole Nuther Thing,” featuring Bob Goodman.

For those that never loved a dog, I say, You are missing something extraordinary. Sadie had a knack for lifting me out of a crappy mood every time. The wag of her tail when she saw me; the ability to hold three tennis balls in her mouth, only to cough out one so I can throw it again; blinking at me to remind me to save her a bite of whatever I was eating; and cocking her head to one side as if she understood everything I said. I’m sure she did.

Those that knew Sadie loved her, and those that never met her loved her too. Most people have been understanding and compassionate to my loss. I appreciate all your cards and letters.

For those that say, “She was just a dog, you can get another,” I say, Fuck off.For Those Who’ve 

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Bob Goodman’s Whole ‘Nuther Thing is in the news!

Orange County Register 9-26-18 Richard Wagoner

You probably don’t know the name Bob Goodman, but you should.

Goodman is the host of a program called Whole ‘Nuther Thing, a program you might call a flashback to the early days of FM radio. It’s heard locally on KCSN’s (88.5 FM) HD2 digital stream, as well as online at ksbr.org, via the TuneIn app, on iTunes, Mixcloud, and at Podomatic.Com.

Goodman hails from New York City and cut his teeth on early FM. His program began on the former KSBR in 1984; last year when Saddleback College’s KSBR merged with Cal State Northridge’s KCSN, the program was moved – along with the rest of KSBR’s programming – to the simulcast’s digital HD2 stream. That means you have to have a special HD radio to hear it over the air. Indeed, it is one of the reasons to buy an HD radio.

But as with so much of radio today, online is where it’s at, and Goodman says that he’s averaging 2000 downloads and plays each week on Podomatic alone, placing the program in the top-200 out of the service’s tens of thousands of available programs. In the category of freeform, he is often number one.

“My show is true free-form radio,” Goodman explained to me recently. “All genres of music are featured in hand-mixed sets. I refer to it as ‘radio the way it ought to be.’”

A recent show featured songs from William Devaughn, War, Earth Wind & Fire, Dave Brubeck, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Graham Parker, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ram Jam, ZZ Top, Billy Squire, Mark Knopfler, Chris Isaak, Garland Jeffreys, Procol Harum, Rod Stewart & The Faces, The Eagles, Pat Metheny, Neil Young, George Harrison, Lovin’ Spoonful, and many more. Eclectic? Absolutely.

Goodman’s voice is reminiscent of early FM freeform or underground radio as well. In fact, he sounds like he could be found on any of the stations that set the stage for FM’s success: KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco, KPPC and KMET here in Los Angeles.

His early radio work was in New York City as General Manager of Hunter College’s campus station. From there he moved to Long Island’s WCRN as Music Director, eventually making the trip out West to the former KSRF (now KDLD, 103.1 FM), back to New York and then finally Philadelphia … all during the 1960s when FM radio was experimenting with formats trying to attract an audience in the days of AM dominance.

The program is a wonderful mix of musical styles that is thoroughly enjoyable to hear. You can listen to each show live every Saturday from 3-7 p.m. or download/stream the podcasts at your leisure; Goodman says that archives go back six months on TuneIn and MixCloud; three years at https://bobksbr.podomatic.com.

“I’ve got listeners all over the world with an especially large following in the UK,” Goodman told me. If you haven’t listened yet, give it a whirl and let me know what you think. I think it’s great. I’m not sure why KCSN’s Sky Daniels hasn’t put it on the main signal for 88.5 FM, but for now, it’s worth the trouble to find.

Posted in 88.5 FM, Business, Eclectic Music, Employment, Es' Place, FM Radio, Free Form Radio, Friends, LA Radio, Life, Music, Radio, Radio The Way It Ought To Be, Technology, Whole 'Nuther Thing | Leave a comment

Lisa Shaw writes · Ingrid Takes Her Rightful Place

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Ingrid Takes Her Rightful Place by Lisa Shaw It has been a few weeks since my last communication. It’s not that I have been hiding; in truth, Mom has been hiding from me. She hears the whispers and shoos them aside; she feels the nudges and then scratches her arm lightly, saying it’s just a random muscle spasm. She touches my collar which still sits on her night stand and says, “someday I will put this in a drawer” and turns on the TV. Lately she fears that each time she hears from me it will be the last time. She wants to stretch out the silences, to elasticize our bond. But love is already elastic; it thrives in all intervals. While I was preparing to die in Florida, a litter of Irish Water Spaniel pups was born in Minnesota, the same day, April 18, 2018. You see how the Universe balances. As my body failed, ten newborns were just stretching theirs, wiggling into life. And this litter is related to both me and Luinigh. After much consideration, Mom took one. Her name is Mary, after the song Let It Be….”in my hour of darkness she is standing there in front of me, speaking words of wisdom…” But don’t be fooled; both Mom and I know I’m the wise one talking in the darkness, wise enough to know it was my departure that sent Mom plummeting there. For this I am deeply sorry, so I nod approvingly as Mary leads her out. Now I nudge Mary as well as Mom. I showed her how to climb up the ottoman into the bed on her first night here. I directed her to the futon I lounged on during the day. I smile when she uses my crate, my leash, chews my Nylabone. I watch as she brings Mom a joy still perforated by sadness. She is so afraid she will lose me. And it is because of this I will, in some painless way, free her from me. Sadness should never be the conduit between two loving beings who are physically apart. In the coming days I hope Mom learns that fading memory is not a condition of letting go and that releasing sorrow is never equivalent to relinquishing Love.

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A Tribute to Sully.

Sully you will always be my Valentine,

You will always be my Easter Basket,

You will always be my Birthday Wish and

You will always be my Christmas Present

By Linda Bardsley Burns.

This is Linds’a tribute to Sully who has been a marvelous gift for over 8 years.

Sully passed almost 1 year ago, and her words to this wonderful dog touched my heart.

Our dogs are our gifts from God.

 

Posted in Dogs, Es' Place, Friends, girlfriends, Golden Retrievers, Life, Life and Death, Must Love Dogs, Personal, Rainbow Bridge | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#MARCHFOROURLIVES

Jill Johnson posted 2 photos.

SHARING JILL JOHNSON’S POST: FROM THE HEART AND SOUL OF A SURVIVOR FROM THE HORRIFIC #LasVegas SHOOTING.

5 months ago I stood in a crowd of souls enjoying a carefree night of music. 5 months ago I stood frozen on a field while the gates of hell opened up around me. 5 months ago an unimaginable evil poured out of the sky like rain. 5 months ago I felt bullets fly past my arms & feet as I crouched amongst the fallen. 5 months ago my life was forever changed. Today I will stand in a crowd of souls who say, “#nomore.” Today I will fight to keep that night 5 months ago from being in vein. Today I will let the emotion take a new direction. Today I honor all those we have lost & all those who survive. Today I will March for our lives. #marchforourlives #vegasstrong #nomore
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