Lake Worth donor’s story
Helga Careskey, 93, of Lake Worth, recently donated a collection of family photographs that depict life in Breisach, the German town where she grew up. Her family managed to escape to the United States in October 1938, missing Kristallnacht by a week or two.
The pictures depict an idyllic life in a village along the Rhine River border with France, where Careskey’s father, the owner of a department store, was on the city council, with friendships that extended beyond their small Jewish community.
Another set of pictures show Careskey’s brother Walter returning to his hometown as a member of the U.S. Army tank company that liberated Breisach. One photo shows Walter in the Jewish cemetery where his grandfather was buried after the family had fled, its gravestones riddled with bullet holes. Careskey says Walter later ordered the mayor to repair the cemetery, which he did.
The decision to donate the pictures to the Holocaust museum was difficult, Careskey says.
“When I gave her those albums, I felt like my left and my right arm were severed. I was so close to those pictures,” she says.
The 30th annual meeting of the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants will gather eyewitnesses and loved ones from around the world Nov. 9-12 at the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel.
Careskey will be there, as will Rubensteen, on the search for more stories and artifacts.
The recent resurgence in the idolatry of Nazi-era propaganda and symbols makes such meetings and support for the Holocaust museum even more critical, Tanen says.
“It’s important for us to continue to tell the truth. We’re a history museum, and we’re telling the truth of this history, in all its facets, so that deniers and distorters will always continue to be pushed to the margins,” Tanen says. “They’re here now. And, unfortunately, they will certainly be here when the Holocaust and eyewitness generation is no longer with us. Which, again, makes us want to redouble our efforts today to make sure these stories and these pieces of evidence from this history are preserved forever.”
For information about the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., call 202-488-0400 or go to USHMM.org.