Rose Rosen recounts her memories of 9-11 as the child of Holocaust survivors.
As the anniversary of September 11 approaches, I am flooded with memories of the events. As the child of Holocaust survivors, I have a very different reaction to tragedy and possible harm to my family. I go into survivor mode immediately. I was working in Tarpon Springs, Florida on September 11 when I heard what had happened. I immediately called my husband and gave him a list of things to do which included buying a lot of non-perishable foods and getting our daughter from school no matter what the school said. It was clear to me that this could be the start of a war and I must act to save our family.
To me, this was a normal reaction. Later I found out that my actions were a bit extreme.
I remember clearly the days after the tragedy. It was so quiet here with no planes and the impending hurricanes. I listened to the radio a lot. There was one story from New York that particularly struck me. It was about the people looking for their loved ones. They posted signs and walked the streets and visited the hospitals all in an effort to find their missing friends and relatives. Cell phones were down; the Internet and landlines were not working, so the people took to the streets in their frantic search for the missing.
This reminded me of the time after WWII when victims were trying to reconnect with their families. During that time, the embassies worked to help families reunite. It was because of that effort that my parents met each other. My mother spent the years after the war in Sweden and my father was in Marseilles. They coincidentally had the same last name, so the embassy connected them. After corresponding they found out that they were not related, but continued to correspond for the next two years. My mother decided to travel to Israel where she had one surviving member of her family…a first cousin. On her way, she decided to meet the man from Marseilles who shared her last name.
Five days after she got off the train in Marseilles, she was married to my father.
The Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project is an international project from Yad Vashem that works on collecting the names of those people who died in the Holocaust. Locally, the Florida Holocaust Museum, 727 820 0100, is spearheading the project. All other Jewish organizations have come on board. If you have names to give, please contact the museum or me.
For more information, call me at 813 932 9932 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rose Rosen is a busy casting director with her roots in journalism. Having been brought up with both parents surviving the Holocaust, Rose has a unique take on life. Serving as Central Florida Coordinator of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Names Recovery Project suits her need for filling in the gaps of her past as well as helping others find theirs. When not casting, Rose is a life coach for actors.