It's a holy cause to feed a hungry child." - Gerda Klein
Life is tricky. One can never tell when the tables will turn and when it will remove the carpet from under your feet. Many capitulate to the circumstances while there are some who refuse to accept things lying down. The inspiring story of GerdaWeissmann Klein, a mother of three children, who pursued her call despite facing unimaginable hurdles along the way is sure to motivate us to break free from our hard-to-let-go comfort zones.
GerdaWeissmann Klein, a holocaust survivor, is an example of bravery, hope and love for humanity. The early days of her life in Poland were pleasant. Along with her parents and older brother, she led a comfortable middle class life. She was leading a happy childhood, enjoying with friends and family, then came a catastrophe that completely changed her life. The German invasion of Poland in 1939 brought in a turbulent time for her and many others. She was never to see her brother again when he registered for the army. Gerda and her parents were forced to live in the basement of their home and later in a Jewish ghetto. Gerda separated from both her parents in 1942 when they were sent separately to the death camp of Auschwitz and she to Dulag which was a transit camp. She was among the 4000 women who began the 350-mile death march in 1945 to avoid the advance of Allies of World War II Allied forces. It is no less than a deus ex machina that made her survive exposure to the winter elements, starvation, and arbitrary execution.
Young Gerda was alone, having lost all her family members. It was during the time of this holocaust disaster that a Jewish lieutenant named Kurt Klein came to help people survive the situation. Gerda later got married to this Jewish lieutenant and their unconditional love for each other gave rise to three shining stars, their three children. Despite facing such grave circumstances and hardships, her resolve to live did not wane a bit. From tragedy to triumph, her courage and zeal were unmitigated. She and her husband proudly started the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation. It is a public non-profit foundation that creates an opportunity for young people to understand the world and translate that understanding into positive action. It promotes tolerance, respect and empowerment of students throughout the world.
For the excellent social work, Gerda Klein was awarded with several awards including six honorary doctorates, the Lion of Judah Award, and the Human Rights Award given by the National Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights. On mother's day, we pay tribute to the steely GerdaWeissmann Klein who shares her stories and encourages others to see themselves in one another to advance understanding among all people.
GerdaWeissmann Klein was a holocaust survivor. For more information on her, read on.