Author and Holocaust Survivor Lillian Boraks-Nemetz visited YHS on November 6, 2012. She read from her novel “The Old Brown Suitcase” (see video below).
Rosie, Grade 6, tells us about the visit:
Lillian Boraks-Nemetz was born in Warsaw, Poland. As a child, she was incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto for eighteen months. She then hid under a false identity until the war was over.
The author Lillian Boraks-Nemetz wrote an amazing story about her life called “The Old Brown Suitcase”. She came to talk to Grades 6 and 7 and some senior girls about growing up as a Jewish person in Poland during World War II. Of all the things she talked about, one in particular was very sad. She told us her little sister was shot by a Polish police officer who didn’t want to do it. But a Nazi soldier ordered him to do it while holding a gun to his head. So he threw a ball for that little girl to catch and when she ran out to catch it he shot her.
Here is a poem I wrote, imagining how that must feel:
“As she ran to catch the ball,
The Nazi man stood fierce and tall,
The innocent one loaded his gun,
While she was simply having fun.
This man was in pain,
There wasn’t anything to gain,
From killing this little Jewish girl.
The things these men did were not by choice,
They didn’t have their own voice.”
Lillian Boraks-Nemetz also told us the bombing started when she was almost 6 years old, and staying at her grandfather’s house. Then the family was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. Her father gave away some family jewels to bribe the guards to let her leave the ghetto. She had to stay very brave and walk alone. Her dad’s last words before she crossed the gates were “don’t be scared”. She took everything in her little brown suitcase which is why she chose this title for her novel.
All the girls had an amazing experience, listening to her true story about leaving her family and being separated from her sister. It was absolutely life changing for me. When you hear Lillian’s story you suddenly became empathetic. How real and in the moment she made it sound.
Rosie S., 6H
Author and Holocaust Survivor Lillian Boraks-Nemetz reads from her novel “The Old Brown Suitcase” for junior students on November 6, 2012. This reading details her escape from the Jewish ghetto: