Memories of the Skokie that was

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Each was marked for death - by bullet, by gas, by starvation - nearly 70 years ago.
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1 - 16 of 16 Comments Last updated Dec 27, 2008
Felicia P Zieff

Chicago, IL

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#1
Dec 14, 2008
 
To: Howard Reich
Thank you for writing this wonderful article. Both my parents are survivors, my father from Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen and Gerlice and my mother was a hidden child in Belgium. I have lived in Skokie since 1999 and have gotten to know many of the Skokie area survivors. On Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 1:30 PM, there will be a Hanukah party for all survivors and their families at the Bernard Horwich JCC on Touhy in Chicago. It would be so nice if you could join us! Zei Gezunt,
Felicia P. Zieff
President, Association of Descendants of the Shoah -
Illinois, Inc.
Skokie, IL
blair epstein

Israel

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#2
Dec 14, 2008
 
Looking a it from here, in Israel, Skokie had always been more than Holocaust survivors, even though we knew they were there. skokie had been a safe great place to grow up in, and yes, it was a plastic bubble but it surely would be nice to replicate that for my kids.
Pooch

United States

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#4
Dec 14, 2008
 
A truly inspiring story of courage and tenacity. But it's very sad that such evil existed that Skokie and its holocaust survivors and descendents would need to keep those memories alive. I salute them for not wanting future generations to forget the evil that man can do.

(As for YOU, Ed O, you are despicable.)

“things that make you go "hmmmm”

Since: May 08

Homewood, IL

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#6
Dec 14, 2008
 
I used to caddy at Idlewild when I was in high school. I noticed more than one of my bags were guys with numbers tattooed on their wrists. I knew what it meant and I couldn't stop looking at them, wondering how they ever managed to make it out alive. It wasn't the sort of thing I would ever ask about; I knew what it meant. These were some of the nicest people I ever met; they would ask me how school was and tell me how important it was that I stay in school and go to college. Almost 40 years later, I still think about it.
yochanan

Chicago, IL

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#7
Dec 14, 2008
 
my wife family was butchered by the nazi's her grand father got out just before the war but the rest of his family did not. Only one cousin survived out of a very large family her grand father had 8 brothers and sisters.
all but the one cousin were butchered we don't even know when and were.

My father was at pearl harbor on that dec. 7th but there was one thing in common with my wife's cousin neither would ever talk about it. Both said we would not understand.
Tiffany Hollis

Naperville, IL

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#8
Dec 14, 2008
 
We are intently listening and hearing you
(holocaust survivors) and learning
about your horrific historical
past.
We are here to help you pass it on for generations to come. Keep sharing with us. You will not be forgotten.
Chicago Gal

South Holland, IL

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#9
Dec 14, 2008
 
Thank you for writing this article. I hope many read it and understand the significance of all it tells. Never forget.
Marc

Chicago, IL

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#10
Dec 14, 2008
 
Having grown up in skokie in the 50's through 70's period, my first real awareness of the holocaust didn't occur till 1975.In my final week of class in my Senior year at Niles North High School we were shown a film and I still remember the bulldozer piling up the dead human bodies.
As a middle age adult I'm now very well aware of what these survivors have gone through, and also now understand what some of my neighbors and friends parents quirkiness was about.
Skokie was and is a special place on this earth.
denyse

United States

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#11
Dec 14, 2008
 
i am not jewish...but was moved deeply by the article...what tales the walls of these victims could tell...please continue to write about these heroric and brave people
speechless

Chicago, IL

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#12
Dec 14, 2008
 
I'm in my 50s, a former Skokie girl who still feels a strange and inexplicable attachment for this unique suburb. Thank you so, so much for this moving and enlightening story. God bless all survivors.
Mensch

Chicago, IL

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#13
Dec 14, 2008
 
Skokie, a victim itself of a "mini North Shore diaspora," has changed. I am a grandson of Holocaust survivors and grew up in Skokie. Even though the demographics reflect a rapid diversification, Skokie will always be home.
fed up

United States

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#14
Dec 14, 2008
 
Mr. Reich- This is a wonderful article. These elderly survivors and their extended families show that good has overcome evil. Bless them all. I recall the march and like most people was horrified that they would be allowed to march.
Stewart Samelson

Oakland, CA

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#15
Dec 14, 2008
 
A very moving article.
plumskiter

Gwinn, MI

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#17
Dec 14, 2008
 
what a beautiful article about such an important topic. thank you so much.
Mary Johnson

Sarasota, FL

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#18
Dec 15, 2008
 
I lived in Skokie, just off Crawford Av on Fargo for approx. 3 years:
after graduating from Niles Twnsp High I went on to college but my parents continued living on Fargo Av for more than 30 years. We were not Jewish but almost all our neighbors were. I babysat their children during those three years and learned many things from the parents but most special of all was the joy of life they all shared. My sister and I knew about the Holocaust and learned early not to ask about the numbers on their arms. They had been to war and did not want to discuss it.
My mother became a fixture in the neighborhood over the decades. I brought my children back "home" and they both played with the kids all over the streets surrounding Gram's house.
It was a very close-knit group of people, always looking out for each other. My mother left the neighborhood after almost a half century to live in Resurrection Assisted Living and she passed away last summer at age 92... She had many old friends attend her funeral and some from the old neighborhood in Skokie.
There are many old fixtures still left in Skokie village, one of which is Pat. Pat runs a sandwich shop ... You all know her. She still serves the best food... sigh ... My husband & I took Gram on a trip last year around the old neighborhoods and stopped to lunch at Pat's... It was a joy to see them greet each other and talk about the family.
Peace Lover

Los Angeles, CA

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#20
Dec 27, 2008
 

Judged:

1

I lived in Skokie from 1962-1990 and was the teen son of a long line of unbroken Jewish linage when the neo-nazis (purposely not capitalized) wanted to march. Although my faith lay elsewhere after asking my parents who Jesus was when I was 6 years old, and never fitting in with the theologies and ideologies of my beloved Jewish teen peers, I still gave serious consideration with my peers to shoot the neo-nazis with high powered rifles from afar should they march in our hometown. I suspect their intelligence (IQ of 3) found out about us kids and decided not to march there after winning the excessive permit fee case that Mayor Smith rightfully levied upon them. Recently I set out to obtain a collage degree which eluded me in the 70s. In a Poly-Sci text book I came across the story of Skokie & the neo-nazi march. Now, some 30 years later, I must tell you that in class reading that text book as now while writing this post my eyes were/are welling up with tears and my throat has a lump in it. Like some of the other posters have written, Skokie, for me, has and will always have a special place in my heart, soul & genetic composition. In July of this year I was formally baptized, a dream Id had since I lived in Skokie. Recently a rash of swastika graffiti has been plaguing my new hometown thousands of miles away from Skokie; disdain started to brew within me again, without my new knowledge and experience of the last 30 years I suspect it would manifest into that high powered rifle feeling, that wanting to return hate with hate; amazing how things can change and remain the same at the same time. God bless you/us all & peace be with you.

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