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Esther from Laguna

You may already know how important the three Esther's in the Quad Cities were in my starting A BOOK by ME. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a Jewish survivor in Laguna, California whose name is Esther as well. She would like her story told by a young author.

Esther and her husband graciously invited me to their home for lunch. There she told me the story of horror for her family during the Nazi reign of terror. Soon she will meet with a writing coach and a young person from San Diego. I'm making the arrangements for her young author now.

This Esther who was born in Boryslav, Poland in 1934. Both her father and mother were hard-working and successful jewelers. Esther's nanny was a Ukrainian peasant named Anastasia and was like a mother to her. It was her job to cook, clean and take care of Esther.

Young Esther loved this kind and humble woman more than her own mother because she spent more time with her. The nanny's nickname was "Fesia" and Esther remembers her always wearing a "bubushka", a head covering that was popular among the peasants at that time. Fesia was part of the family when Esther's baby sister named Bina was born in 1939.

This story takes a lot of twists and turns and always, there's the lovely nanny, Fesia, who helps them survive. Sadly, Esther's father was killed but the three women lived and immigrated to Israel. Eventually Esther made her way to the USA.

To this day, Esther still remembers the "big boots marching" when the Nazis invaded Poland. She says she will never forget it.

Fesia, who was much older than her mother, made a decision to stay in Poland even though it was ruled by the Communist and her life was not easy. This is where she died.

Once Esther's story is told by a young author, children will read about the brave Ukrainian woman who was willing to risk it all for her Jewish children. She will not be forgotten for the part she played in saving the lives of this Jewish family.

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