Saturday, July 14, 2012

Flora Arnswalder Caspari: in memorian May 3, 1883-July 12, 1954

My dear grandmother Flora Arnswalder Caspari lived through tumultuous times and the consequences were severe. Once she moved from Berlin in 1938 to the United Sates, she lived with my family: my parents and my brother. Three years after her arrival, I was born and she took on the role of caregiver for the children. She attended night school to learn English, which she mastered perfectly. Of course, she did not have an income since the Nazi's had stolen all, but she was able to secure some family furnishings, goods that I cherish. For each item, a sum had to be paid to the German {Nazi} government when they were moved out of the Berlin apartment. These objects, each a piece of her life, a life utterly devastated by the circumstances of the time, convey a world that is lost, and most importantly the persons who gave meaning to those items.
My grandmother was a beautiful blond, as pictures from her youth show. The pictures taken from the end of her life she how troubled and she was by what had occurred. And then there was the cancer -first one then another--that destroyed her utterly. Exactly when she contracted her first cancer I am unsure, perhaps when I was ten no later then eleven. At first she remained at home with use, but finally the illness had progressed and she was moved to a nursing home. When I was thirteen, she died; that was in the summer. So my life with my grandmother was brief, far to brief. And I cannot ask anyone about her; memory, my memory and what my mother cared to share with me gave her a life, a past. But how much does a ten year old recall? I look at the young Flora and the older Flora, a woman slightly older then I am now, and I see her sadness, her grief,her loss for all that was destroyed. But as a young girl, the future bright and a family that was large. Most were murdered, a few survived but living in a diaspora. Those who do live are in Israel, and it is only recently that the internet put me in contact with them. I hope that her life will be remembered, if not here in the United Sates then in Israel. Flora was a wonderful caring grandmother who lived int wo worlds, at least. To her I owe so much.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beate Caspari-Rosen, in memoriam, March 14, 1910- July 8, 1995

in memory of my beloved mother, shown here with her husband George Rosen, in Sullivan Maine or in Canterbury Connecticut