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    I read this story on one of my internet haunts yesterday . . . it's quite wonderful.

    The first part is from someone who calls himself "amprather":

    Last year at my grandfather's funeral, I made a promise to both him and myself that I would fight to the very end to prevent the evil that he had to endure in his life from happening again. Everyday when I look into the blue eyes of my daughter, the same blue eyes my grandfather had, I am reminded of that promise and know that it is not only a promise to him, but to her as well.

    In the fall of 1943, after being captured by the Nazis in the Ukraine, my grandfather was sent to Auschwitz. At first, he was just one of many Soviet POWs held at the camp, but it was later discovered that he was Jewish, so he was removed from the Soviet soldiers and placed with the other European Jews. My grandfather never knew why he survived while others parished, but there was never a day that passed after liberation in 1945 that he thanked God for that gift of life.

    My grandfather was able to get to England and then on to America to restart his life. He raised 5 children and later cherished his 22 grandchildren. He loved to work in his garden, even on the hottest of days. As a child, I always wondered why he wore long shirts even on those August days when it would easily be 100 degrees (even in the shade). When I was 9, I caught my grandfather shaving in the bathroom and that is when I saw it: His Camp Number - 58877241.

    Not knowing any better, I asked him why he got such a "stupid tattoo". He told me that he really didn't want to get it and quickly tried to cover it with a towel. I followed him asking him, "Why don't you get it removed then?" He stop dead in the hallway and without turning around said "So I don't forget." We never discussed it again.

    When he died last summer, I told myself that he was finally at peace. As I stood over his coffin with my wife, I reached down and took his arm in mine. I unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it up. I looked at the number again - 58877241. My wife looked at me and asked "Why are you doing that?" All I could say was "So I don't forget." Right then I made my promise to him - Never again.

    This summer, my family and I will be traveling to Auschwitz, so my children understand what there grandfather went through. I want my daughter to know why I see him in her eyes. And then everytime I look in her eyes I will see hope and love and not 58877241.


    So, "amprather" posted that story, and later that day he got an email from someone called "BettyG":

    Here is BettyG's email-

    "After reading your [story], I was moved to tears because it reminded me of my grandfather, Ivan Feduleyev. He was also a soldier in the Red Army, captured in the Ukraine. He was taken to Auschwitz as a POW. At first his unit was held in a special part of the camp, but things changed when the guards heard from one of the officers that there were Jewish soldiers in the unit.

    All of the soldiers were beaten for a few days as the guards demanded they identify the Jews. None of them would identify the Jewish troops. Finally, the Captain of the Guard decided that the only way to make them talk was to execute one of the soldiers. They brought the unit into a yard and lined the soldiers up for selection. They choose my grandfather. They hauled him in front of a firing squad. The Captain of the Guard again demanded that the Jews among them be identified. Then one of the soldiers came forward and identified himself as a Jew. The Captain grabbed him and hauled him away and stopped the execution. The troops never saw the soldier again.

    My grandfather never forgot that soldier's name, he named his first son after him, Roman. The soldier's name was Roman Edemskoi."


    "amprather" posted BettyG's email to the message board, along with this:

    "Roman Edemskoi (58877241) was my grandfather.

    I am traveling to San Rafael next week to talk to BettyG. If you don't think the Web is a powerful, earth-shattering tool, I hope you think differently."


    WOW! Thanks for posting.


    "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang
    "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang


      You're welcome, John--and welcome to this whole moderator thing!


        Wonderful story, Kate! Thank you...

        And I have to add, I've been to Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow (1998). There is a huge part of history to see. Sure it's a sad one, but we need to be reminded of what happened in the past.