CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 8, 2010

Robert and Janet: Nowy Targ Holocaust Survivors

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ROBERT AND JANET:

NOWY TARG (POLAND) HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

     Last year, on my birthday, I both lost a friend and gained a friend.

     I was privileged to meet Robert (Reibeisen) Mendler, the last Holocaust survivor in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I was privileged to write an article on him in the Westmoreland County Historical Magazine and to continue his story on this blog.

     I was privileged to spend the afternoon of December 8, 2009, in his company (see link at end of post).

     I was also privileged to be the person who informed him that he was not the only survivor of his hometown, Nowy Targ, Poland. The survival of Janet Applefield, also a Nowy Targ, Poland, Holocaust survivor, was a revelation to him.

     Thus, enroute to his funeral, I made an impromptu decision to try to speak.

     I asked my husband, Monte, who was with me, if I should do this. After all, I knew nothing about Jewish funerals—this was my first experience. I did not have the time to consult with Janet, on whose behalf I wanted to speak. Somehow, though, I felt that she wouldn’t mind.

     When I arrived at the synagogue I fear I made myself obnoxious, asking different persons if I could speak. Even so, I was given permission, and I was invited up to the podium during the service.  

     Here is what I shared at Bob’s funeral:

     Everyone here is (more…)

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March 29, 2010

The Maltz Museum in Beachwood, Ohio

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE MALTZ MUSEUM (Beachwood, Ohio)

We ended a 2006 “vacation” with a visit to the Maltz Museum outside Cleveland Heights, Ohio, stopping as we headed home after visiting our son’s home in Cleveland Heights. Members of Nolan’s church were speaking about an exhibit there. Since I was working on an assignment to write an article on a holocaust survivor, we decided it was worth visiting. At the time, there the museum had a special exhibit: Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land.

     The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is a world-class institution, a living testament to the courage and achievements of Cleveland’s Jewish community. Personal stories of individuals and families – past and present – come to life in the exhibition galleries through state-of-the-art technology, films, computer interactives, unique artifacts, compelling oral histories, art and images.

     In addition, The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery presents an internationally -recognized collection of Judaica.

     The Museum also hosts special exhibitions of national and international acclaim. The exhibit on display when we visited was Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land, a presentation of Jewish and Christian treasures from the Israel Museum. The exhibit, which began April 1, 2006, was ending October 22, 2006. Among the visitors were groups of school children with museum tour leaders.

     Some items were displayed for the first time in the United States. One of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Temple Scroll, was on view for the first time anywhere in the world. 

     The exhibit covered the time of Jesus through (more…)

December 13, 2009

AN UNEXPECTED VISIT WITH BOB MENDLER ON DECEMBER 8, 2009

CAROLYN’S COMMENTS

AN UNEXPECTED VISIT WITH BOB MENDLER ON DECEMBER 8, 2009

Robert Mendler’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 15. For details, click on: ROBERT MENDLER: IN MEMORY December 10, 2009 or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/robert-mendler-in-memory-december-10-2009/

     On Tuesday, December 8, my husband Monte and I had an unexpected visit with Bob Mendler. The opportunity arose following a comment on the Bob’s story, which was posted in installments on my writing site, www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com*:

     I and my family are from Nowy Targ. My father’s name was Alojzy Singer. I was a hidden child. I and my father survived. The rest of the family did not. The Singers had a large hardware store on the Rynek. I would love to be in touch with anyone from that town. I am sure that my father and Mr. Mendler knew each other.”

     I knew I had to get this comment to Bob, who lives in an adjacent town. Fortunately, I had a (more…)

December 11, 2009

ROBERT MENDLER: IN MEMORY December 10, 2009

My neighbor Betty Lou just called me with the sad news that Robert Mendler died last evening. The 84-year old was born July 6, 1925, in Nowy-Targ, Poland.

Bob was the only surviving Holocaust survivor in Latrobe, PA. We will all miss this heroic man whom my husband, Monte and I, had the privilege of visiting on December 8. He spoke of his plans to cover the desk at Latrobe Hospital on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, something he had done for twenty-five years. He and his wife wanted Christians to have the day to celebrate with their families. 

To view photos, click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beanerywriters/4176070939/in/photostream/ & http://www.flickr.com/photos/beanerywriters/4176070939/in/photostream/

His story is posted in the HOLOCAUST folder on this site, with the first installment at 

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 1) 

or https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/the-holocaust-story-of-a-teenage-victim-part-1/

Bob is survived by two sons, Michael (wife Stacy) Mendler Stacy of McClean of VA, and Mark (fiancee Shelly Piper) Mendler of Greensburg, PA. Other survivors include family members of his late wife, Joan.

He was preceded in death by 89 family members who died in the Holocaust, and his wife Joan Pretter Mendler, who died April 6, 1009.

Robert Reibeisen Mendler’s funeral is scheduled on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 in Beth Israel Synagogue*. Visitation time is 10:00 until noon, the time of the funeral. Interment at B’nai Israel Cemetery** will follow the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following:

Beth Israel Synagogue*

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education***

I would invite any of you who would like to remember Bob to do so by clicking the Leave a Comment link  below and filling in the comment box. Your E-mail address will not be publicized.

I will forward any comments to Bob Mendler’s family.

Carolyn C. Holland

*Beth Israel Synagogue is located at 414 Weldon St., Patrobe, PA., 15650

**B’nai Israel Cemetery is in Hempfield Township.

***The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, Attention Sr. Lois Sculeo—Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, PA, 15601

ADDITONAL READING: AN UNEXPECTED VISIT WITH BOB MENDLER ON DECEMBER 8, 2009 or https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/an-unexpected-visit-with-bob-mendler-on-december-8-2009/

April 22, 2009

Survivor’s Guilt Lent Devotion #25

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SURVIVOR’S GUILT  Lent Devotion #25

 

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:16     Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.  (NKJV)

DEVOTION: As I read these stories I reflect back on the child-slaughter meant to rid the world of Moses and Jesus. Although it’s difficult to me to consider that anyone worthy of being called a homo sapiens could participate in slaughters such as these, tales from wartime situations confirm mankind today is no better than mankind of old.

Each time I read of these mass slaughters of small children I wonder what effect they had on Moses and Jesus. Did the two suffer from (more…)

July 30, 2008

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 7)

To read previous segments of Bob Mendler’s story of being a Holocaust victim, click on:

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 1)

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 2)

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 3)

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 4)

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 5)

THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 6)

Today’s post is a little different than my usual writing.

The remainder of Mendler’s story isn’t written for the Beanery Online Literary Magazine (BOLM), because he is not well enough to help edit the final copy. He is very discouraged. He had knee surgery in January 2007, and is still experiencing a lot of pain.

“I’m so miserable, so unhappy,” he said several months after the surgery. “I just don’t want to do (more…)

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