Sara's Story

Sara's Story

"It doesn't have anything to do with being Christian or Jewish, its about being human."
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Born on May 25, 1927, Sara Auerbach grew up in Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). As a child, she was very poor. She grew up with a widowed mother and her five brothers and sisters. One thing Sara loved growing up was school. However, in that time they didn’t have clothing stores—your dresses were made specifically for you. She recalls one instance when she was at school and another girl came up to her and said, “I had that dress.”

When Sara was 12 she started living with another woman for work. A year later, after Passover holiday was over, Nazi’s came and put the woman and Sara in a ghetto for Jews. From the ghetto, they were transported to a concentration camp by a train. While getting off the train, you were to leave all of your items onboard—you could take nothing but the clothes on your back with you. Prior to entering the concentration camp, Sara, 13, was holding the woman’s child in her hands. A German soldier saw Sara, the infant and the woman and asked for the mother to come forward with the child. Sara never saw either of them again.

In Auschwitz, Sara was tattooed with a number on her arm. Sara was no longer her name—her new name was the number. She distinctly remembers the conditions in Auschwitz, her room was a large room with beds on top of each other. There were 4 crematoriums, each crematorium was a cornered room with windows. The windows did not open, however the back of the building had a slight hole which is where gas cans would be thrown into the room. She didn’t know German at the time, but she learned quickly because you would be beaten if you didn’t speak it. Their clothes were essentially rags. Every morning she would wake up, get “coffee,” which was really just hot water, and then work. Each day the camp would serve one meal. Since there were no spoons in the beginning, a group of people would have one bowl where they would take a sip of soup. As a worker, Sara would search the hems of the clothes left behind for hidden money. She would also have to clean streets after bombings.

One morning, the soldiers said that everyone who needed new shoes was to stay from work. Sara decided not to go to work for the first time in camp because she was in desperate need of new shoes. She says that staying for shoes was the worst decision—that day all the people who went to work were saved by the Swedish and sent to Sweden. While she stayed, the Germans came and made her get into a truck. Confused, she told the German soldier that she had only stayed behind for shoes. The soldier responded with saying, “It's because you’re petite.” She was put into the back of the truck, which was full of dead people, and was taken to the crematorium. When the truck reached the crematorium, it was full and she was put to work. The next morning, the war was over.

Sara hitchhiked to Berlin in a Russian truck filled with potatoes. A Russian, Jewish soldier helped her leave the country, however she was caught by the British as she was illegally traveling to Israel. After realizing that she was a survivor, she was allowed into Israel after being quarantined and checked for health. Sara did not go home, she said, “I did not want to go back home, I didn’t know who was alive.” She did write letters afterwards asking if anyone knew who was alive, and letting them know where she was located.

Sara’s mother, brother and grandmother were killed in a gas chamber, her brother did not want to leave his mother or grandmother. Another one of her brothers became a soldier for the Russian army. Sara’s sister never went into a camp, she stayed with a Christian family. In Israel, Sara met her husband and had two children, a son and daughter. She then moved to the United States where she had another son.

She told me she often wonders why she survived. She has outlived her husband and daughter, both of whom died on the same day hours after each other five years ago, as well as her sister. She credits her survival to being poor as a child. She was used to going to bed hungry, the rich girls were not used to hunger and died fast in camps. Sara spent a year and a half in Auschwitz. She has since visited her home in Slovakia, however she says no Jewish people live there anymore, not one family went back. A quote that Sara told me is, “A man makes plans, but God makes decisions.” All you can do is go with the flow of life. Life is what you make of it, and there are no words to describe how lucky I am to have been in Sara’s presence.


Cover Image Credit: CNN

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Red, White, And Blue, What Did You Do?!

Have you ever been pulled over by the police? Have you ever been on Live PD?! Maybe I've seen you on there!

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For the past week, I have been watching "Live PD" on Youtube and it's actually really interesting. Watching people give tickets and arrested for all kinds of things, high-speed chases, and shootouts... It sounds insane because it is! It is also really real and it happens because of bad choices. I assume that there are hundreds of people, probably, even more, getting pulled over by the police every couple of minutes, maybe even seconds. When driving around from city to city, I see police everywhere; especially pulling people over. Most of the time someone will get pulled over for speeding or for equipment problems. I have only ever been pulled over once in my life, for speeding, which was unfortunate, but I was speeding and now I understand the consequences - EXPENSIVE AND NOT WORTH THE TIME IN COURT.

A lot of scenes from this show are people getting pulled over for something more dangerous. Each episode of the show is police from different places all over the United States. Sometimes it's body footage (which is incredible and very scary), car cam, helicopter cam, or a cameraman. We all know these police officers much rather be pulling people over and giving them speeding tickets, but some people just don't know when to stop.

I am writing this article for all the law enforcement officers out there because I give them so much more respect upon seeing what they deal with almost every day. Not to say that all police officers deserve the same respect because some do not because of horrible mistakes and misjudgment of situations, sorry to say. Some make bad mistakes, but so do all of those people that they have to arrest. Police officers are following the law. They are taking every necessary precaution to protect the public, protect themselves and to potentially save those who could bring harm to themselves.

I searched how much energy one must go through to become a police officer and I found that on average they must spend 880 hours (22 weeks) of academy training which includes having them, "learn state laws, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, firearms training, traffic control, defensive driving, self-defense, first aid and computer skills." Along with those they must take part in, "physical training and fieldwork that demonstrates their comprehension of classroom instruction. Field exercises include investigating mock criminal scenes, directing traffic, operating police vehicles, arrest techniques, using firearms, fingerprinting and interrogation methods." Officers with K-9 units take a couple weeks to be initially placed into a department, then 3-4 weeks for actual training for narcotics or explosives. K-9 units often teach in German so when on the pursuit and they get released that those who are being sought after cannot stop or control the dog in control. Watching countless videos of K-9's responding to their owners by attacking the suspect, usually leave their mark by taking them down by biting their arms or legs. This ensures that the suspect will not go anywhere and it gives the police officers a chance to catch their breath, evaluate the situation, making sure it is safe, then arresting them.

Another show, taken place in the UK ("Nothing To Declare") deals with suspicious travelers in airports going through security (border patrol). They arrest countless people laundering money, and others traveling with (smuggling) hundreds of pounds of cocaine, marijuana, and other miscellaneous substances or objects. Within the show, officers work in tandem with sniffer dogs to detect possible packages of those illegal substances and excessive amounts of money. It is really very fascinating and impressive what the dogs find. They stop hundreds of people and arrest plenty of them. Before watching this show, I had no idea that dogs could detect large amounts of money. When traveling out of the country, one is only allowed to carry up to $10,000; if more then police have the authority to confiscate it from the owner.

People become erratic and make bad decisions. People have to understand that there is a law to follow and if they don't then there are serious consequences. A lot of the videos from Live PD are people that have warrants, illegal substances, DUI's, assault charges, and the list goes on… I'm not going to type out every reason for you to be an advocate to either side; law or injustice, but people have to understand that when police get involved it is for the fear of the safety of the public. The police are here to bring justice and to protect us. Not everybody does their job right. We all do things wrong, sometimes with other peoples lives in our hands. Hear me out- it is easy to avoid mistakes, it is easy to get yourself into dangerous situations. Watch the people who influence you; if they act poorly and have attitudes and behaviors then get away and STAY CLEAN. The world wasn't meant for violence. The reason why we have police is to KEEP THE PEACE.

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