Like many people, I am concerned by the current events and the way our leadership, in many parts of the World, is going at the moment. I dont “do” politics really, never have…I dont feel educated, nor qualified enough to speak my thoughts, but the way things are going on now, we seem to be on that perilous path of history repeating itself.
My father was a refugee from Nazi Germany and was everlastingly grateful to the UK for giving him a new and safe life. My Aunt, his sister, Dr Lisamaria Meirowsky, stayed behind. She had converted to Roman Catholicism and taken orders to become a nun. She was living in a convent and with the other sisters was helping Jewish refugees escape across the Dutch/German border, when she was eventually arrested and taken to Westerbork and from there to Auschwitz, where she was murdered with many others.. This is young Lisamaria, with her whole exciting life in front of her.
It destroyed my grandparents, who left Germany very late and came to the UK, penniless…My grandfather Dr Emil Meirowsky (you can translate the link) was a distinguished dermatologist, before being deprived of his career. They eventually moved to the US, where my father’s brother was living, as refugees and settled there. It was a dreadful time and my father could not bring himself to return to Germany for many years.
I never met my Aunt, but according to Dad, she was a loving, gentle woman and an excellent Doctor. However I have some of her letters and notes from around the time of her arrest: These are some of her words to a friend, the Priest keeping records of the events:
“You probably know that we are here and wait for the despatch to Poland. Just therefore I want to send you the last greeting and say to you that I am fully confident and completely devote to God’s Holy Will. I go with courage, confidence and joy. We go as children of our mother, the holy church, for the Jews, for them who pursue us and thus above all contribute for the peace and empire of Christ.” I have taken the liberty of editing her letter, which is very long, in the interest of getting her message across the years from 1942 until now: 2017. As her niece I feel it so important that her story is not forgotten and we do not allow history to repeat itself.