Longtime Downers Grove family shares Holocaust survival story
DOWNERS GROVE – The letters between Gerda Nothmann Luner and her family, separated by the Holocaust in 1939, are heartbreaking when read with historical hindsight, and yet the love and optimism apparent in the correspondence can't help but highlight the human spirit.
The letters show a young Gerda, then 12, finding spiritual guidance from her father, remembering inside jokes with her mother, enjoying her younger sister Vera's sense of humor, and awaiting a reunion.
"And as God's will, everything that now seems difficult will seem a blessing – and we, (your father and I), will then experience the pleasure that you give us, and we will be happy," Gerda's mother wrote in one letter. "When we reunite, we will happily carry a lighter load."
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