① memo 20190219 ~ Petit Simon ~ Simon writing a dedication in his little book at the St Sépulcre school (S2J) Nov 2013 , Liège , Belgium
Coming soon , the free ebooklet Viviane’s Story by Viviane Yarom-Castegnier & Michel van der Burg from Miracles.Media (publisher).
Viviane escaped 75 years ago in the womb of her pregnant mother from the Twentieth Train to Auschwitz.
Isabella Weinreb Castegnier was three-months pregnant that night of the 19th April 1943 in Belgium, when she jumped from the fast moving 20th Train heading for Auschwitz. Isabella escaped with a broken wrist and bruises all over her body, but otherwise without major injuries. Her daughter Viviane – meaning “full of life”, and named so for her will to live and hold tight in her mother’s womb – was born six months later on October 30, 1943.
More on Viviane’s story here in “Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story” : https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/ Music : Ameet Kanon singing Ve’Ulai (“And Perhaps”) a capella.
Film ① memo 20190127 ~ Viviane’s Story ebook ~ by Michel van der Burg – Miracles.Media
① memo 20190116 ~ En Route Transport XX Stop Kuttekoven ~ Short clip 7 years ago during reportage Jan 16 , 2012 – en route the former track of Transport XX to Auschwitz , looking for the actual site Simon Gronowski jumped from that death train , a moment before the train stopped near that little town of Kuttekoven , Belgium – together with Simon Gronowski and our friends : partisan Max De Vries who then had just turned 98 years old († 2014), Béatrice, and Marc Van Roosbroeck (vzw ‘de werkgroep 10 december 2008’) .
① memo 20181215 ~ Ferdinand Popleu’s Poppy ~ (EN below) Ferdinand Popleu – Voorzitter N.S.B. Oud-strijdersbond Boortmeerbeek – is afgelopen zaterdag 8 december overleden op 94-jarige leeftijd.
Hier een korte film als eerbetoon aan Ferdinand , van onze laatste ontmoeting in April tijdens de Transport XX herdenking in Boortmeerbeek , België – met Ferdinand Popleu – pleitbezorger van respect voor de vrede – trots op zijn geliefde medailles en Vlaamse klaproos – ‘bloed van de soldaten … klaproos’ leerde hij mij.
Vandaag nemen familie en vrienden afscheid van Ferdinand Popleu , en krijgt hij zijn laatste rustplaats op het oudstrijdersperk van de begraafplaats in Boortmeerbeek.
Ferdinand Popleu – Chairman of the Boortmeerbeek N.S.B. – National Veterans of Belgium Association – died last Saturday, December 8th, at the age of 94.
Here my short film tribute to Ferdinand , of our last meeting April this year at the Transport XX commemoration in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium – with Ferdinand Popleu – advocate for respect for peace – proudly wearing his cherished medals and Flanders poppy – ‘bloed van de soldaten … klaproos’ he told me : soldier’s blood , poppy …
Today Family and friends say final goodbye to Ferdinand Popleu – he gets his final resting place at the veterans field of the cemetery in Boortmeerbeek.
Viviane and Simon Gronowski meet for the first time in Los Angeles, April 2018 , after they both escaped 75 years ago in the night of April 19th 1943 from that fast moving death train Transport XX to Auschwitz – Simon at the time an 11-year-old boy pushed from the train by his mother Chana , and Viviane still in the womb of her 3-months pregnant mother Isabella.
Today 75 years ago Viviane (meaning ‘full of life’) was born in Brussels – 6 months after she had escaped death that night in April 1943 – thanks to the courage of her pregnant mother Isabella Weinreb , when Isabella jumped in Belgium from that cattle car of Transport XX heading for Auschwitz. She today celebrates her 75th birthday in Los Angeles.
When Simon Gronowski , from Brussels , was visiting LA in April this year – to tell his story and reunite with his childhood friend Alice Weit – Viviane fortunately was able to meet Simon , together with her girls – (grand)daughters – for the first time.
Photo – Simon with Viviane and her girls – thanks to Sébastien De Nys / Viviane
Film ① memo 20181030 ~ Viviane & Simon ~ Michel van der Burg | michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com | miracles.media
More on Viviane’s story here in “Escape from Transport XX – to be born 6 months later – Viviane’s story” : https://michelvanderburg.com/2014/04/28/escape-from-transport-xx-to-be-born-6-months-later/
A recent finding on the man – Elias Gnazik – saving Isabella and Viviane published April 19th , 2018 , including a film on the dutch book presentation ( Simone Korkus’ dutch book “Het dienstmeisje van Degrelle” ) – here online : https://michelvanderburg.com/2018/04/19/full-of-life-escape-from-transport-xx/
More on Simon Gronowski and the documentary Transport XX to Auschwitz here in : Documentary film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” – https://michelvanderburg.com/2013/04/19/transport-xx-to-auschwitz/
① memo 20180528 ~ Youra Livschitz , Robert Maistriau, Jean Franklemon ~ The weekly Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt (Yiddish: דער בּלאַט) published last Friday (May 25, ‘18) a 6 pages long article on the 75th anniversary in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium , of the ‘only rescue action against a transport to Auschwitz’ (צודי75יָאר איינציגע רעטונג ַאקציע קעגן “אוישוויץ טרַאנספָּארט”) – the 20th transport.
The three Belgian heroes Youra Livschitz , Robert Maistriau, and Jean Franklemon liberated 17 people during an attack on the cattle car train ‘Transport XX’ – crammed with 1631 Jewish passengers, heading for Auschwitz – and another more than 200 others jumped out also.
Portaits in the wind filmed following the 75th anniversary in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium