Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Love Stories

Jerzy Bielecki, 2010

Jerzy, 1945

Cyla Cybulska

The Embrace

This week, love conquers the constant drum beat of events in Afghanistan and the threats that flow from the hermit kingdom, enabled by China's refusal to contain their psychotic step-child.

These next two stories are all about love. One of a lost love, the other about finding love for a second time, but not in the way one would expect.

This first story began during World War II and came to light this past week when several news organizations picked up the story.

Jerzy Bielecki, is not a household name in America, but to the people of Poland and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Musuem, Jerzy is quite famous for a daring escape done in the name of love. Here is a brief overview written by Stanlee Stahl in an article for the Jewish Foundation.

AUSCHWITZ, POLAND… SUMMER 1944– Jerzy Bielecki was in the first transport of Polish political prisoners that left Tarnow, Poland for Auschwitz on June 13, 1940. Upon arriving at Auschwitz, Jerzy was given number 243. During his more than four years as an inmate at Auschwitz, Jerzy worked in several places, including the grain warehouse. There he met and fell in love with Cyla Cybulska, a Polish Jew. Although men and women were not allowed to communicate with each other, Jerzy and Cyla were able to exchange a few words every day.
During the winter of 1944, Jerzy decided to attempt to escape from Auschwitz. He begged Cyla to join him. “You are the only one left in your family,” he told her, “maybe I can save you.” Cyla’s parents and brothers, who had also been deported to Auschwitz, had already been murdered. Although she initially did not take Jerzy seriously, she eventually decided to join him. Over several months Jerzy made the necessary arrangements by securing food, documents, clothing and shoes for Cyla, and an SS uniform for himself.
On July 21, 1944, Jerzy, dressed in the stolen SS uniform, arrived in the laundry room where Cyla worked. He told the SS woman in charge that he was summoning Cyla for interrogation.Together they began walking through the camp.
This was just the beginning of this love story. I will not reveal the details of what transpired. I will reveal that Jerzy's story came to light again this past week and sparked news accounts across the globe. Here is just one of those accounts that details what happened as they approached the gate at Auschwitz.

Read the rest:
Escape from Auschwitz

This next story involves the man whose name graces the top of my Favorite Blog Links, Thomas Barnett. For those who don't know, Tom is more than a "grand strategist", author and prodigious blogger, he is a man blessed with a life partner who along with Tom has opened their hearts in the span of a few short years to double the size of their family. Tom and his wife Vonne, have three biological children and a daughter, born of China. Within a few weeks they will add two more children from Africa making for a truly global family that is held together with the strongest bonding agent known to mankind, Love. This is a love story that involves more than Tom and his wife; it is the story of a mother who "symbolically" gave her life so that her children would have a better future.

Tom has been gracious to share this profound experience with his blog readers. Tom wrote this account about their recent journey to Ethiopia.

Next, in this very moving post Tom explains how he came to know love on a scale everybit as powerful as what he describes in the opening paragraph of this next post.
I was raised

in the great state of Wisconsin in a Scot-Irish-German family that didn’t do hugs. Every emotion was delivered verbally. As such, I can recall moments of great love and great pain, but always in the form of words. I lived this existence until the age of 20, when I met the love of my life who’s still my wife—28 years later.
The hug that changed everything for me was delivered on June 22, 1982. There was my life before that moment and my life since. I will never go back.
I will not even try to paraphrase what comes next. Tom's own words deserve and demand to be read in full.

The Embrace: Our African Mother

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