Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Hero....My Great Great Aunt Who Saved A Jewish Family From The Holocaust....

If I were to pick who my hero would be ... I would pick my Great Great Aunt Herta Karklins. In 1942 during the Nazi occupied Latvia a Jewish Mother Erika Alperovica and her two sons, one named Edward Anders ( AKA Alperovica ) sought out help during these terrifying times. Erika's husband was killed by the Nazis. Left alone with her two sons Erika went to a family friend... My Aunt Herta. She asked my Aunt if she would sign a false affidavit claiming that she was an Aryan foundling raised by Jewish parents. The letter was originally concocted by her husband before his death.
So, my Aunt made a choice... She chose to lie by signing the document... out of love for the three Jews, she risked her very own life.
My Grandmother Rita remembers one of the sons, Edward. She used to play with him during those horrific days. Because of the letter and my Aunt sheltering them, they were spared from the Holocaust.

Edward now in his 70's went on to be a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, where he did research on meteorites and lunar rocks (Anders Biography). After his retirement he urged a survivors’ organization to recover the names of Liepaja Holocaust victims from archives in Riga, but when the organization showed no interest, he organized and financed the project himself.

A small number of Jews survived the Holocaust in Latvia with the aid of brave and compassionate Latvians who risked death to hide them. Indeed, several were found harboring Jews and killed along with those they hid.
The names of 269 Latvians who hid Jews during the Holocaust are inscribed on the Saviors Monument in Riga. Unfortunately, the names of some will never be known. The humanity and courage of each of these heroes must not be forgotten.

A monument to Latvia's residents who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust was unveiled on Gogol Street in Riga on July 4, 2007. The monument shows a falling wall and seven columns that symbolize live people propping the wall up despite deadly danger. The names of 269 persons who harbored Jews have been engraved on the seven columns. My Great Great Aunt Herta Karklins is one of the many heroes !!!

Several years ago my Aunt ( whom has passed many years ago ) was awarded the "Righteous Among The Nations " Medal.

At Yad Vashem, so named from a passage in the book of Isaiah), the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953. Israel's national Holocaust memorial, has close to 15,000 persons have thus far been identified and honored, under a program created by law (1963). These are the "Righteous Among the Nations."
Those so recognized are awarded the Righteous Medal and a certificate of honor (to their next-of-kin in the event of a posthumous recognition) and their names are inscribed on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Jewish people, through the State of Israel, on non-Jews.




Blog Me Til Midnight e-mailed me:
I'm doing a little home school project with my kids. We want to build a small Holocaust memorial in our front yard, so that my kids can remember all the Jews that lost their lives. We are asking people to send us “stars.” Any kind of star, made from anything you wish. These stars will symbolize the lights that went out due to the Holocaust. We said yes of course... and taking a detour on some history to reflect this project as well. We will show you the stars soon !!!


  1. What an amazing legacy your family has with this bit of history.

    I know my great-grandma was in a camp for a bit, but I'm not sure the details of it all. My grandfather was also arrested for not cooperating. Maybe I'll get my grandma to tell me more of our history so I can record it too.

    Thanks too for sharing about the stars being collected. I'd love to make one to send as well. How soon are you sending? Maybe I can hand mine off to you and you can send it with yours?

  2. oh goodness, this is a truly wonderful story and how proud you must be of them now.
    were you really born in 1936, your blog is of someone much much younger, you go girl!!

  3. How beautiful! Thank you for sharing this story about your grandmother.

  4. I did not realize this Mica.
    I am sure Alan will love reading this. I will send him your link right now. I will send a star also. Do I send it to you?

    You are an amazing MOther and teacher.
    Love you

  5. Herta Karklins was my grandmother. She remarried to Burkevics before she passed away.
    I have been searching for information about her. Anything at all would help. Please email me.

    Thank you,