21 July 2007

Survivors' celebration honors family, friends

Max, 87, and Selien Noach, 80, just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and birthdays in New York with friends and family from Israel, the Netherlands, Canada and the U.S.

The story is also about those who helped them survive.

"My parents, his parents and the families that took care of us made it possible for us to have a family - for us to exist," said Selien Noach, who turned 80 yesterday. "Most people get married and their life is divided into 'before the marriage' and 'after.' For us, it's 'before the war' and 'after the war.'".

The war is World War II, when they went from carefree Dutch Jews to Holocaust survivors. The Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and in a few years, some 110,000 Jews were deported to camps. On the eve of German occupation, some 140,000 Jews lived there.

Max says they were lucky.

It is a story of imprisonment, payment for release, false documents, hair dye and friends who disregarded their own safety and illegal immigration to Palestine..

The children of those who saved them attended the festivities.

Max began preserving the family's history in 1985, when his first son had his first child. "I found that the story had to be told," Max said. "It's for our grandchildren."

Read more here.

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