Duman Kasapligil Trip Of A Lifetime travel blog


Today we were up early. We picked up my great Aunt Chaya (my grandfather’s sister) and drove her to my Cousin Judy’s house for breakfast. There we met Mick, Judy’s British husband who gave me foreign coins, and Chaya’s son Alan (Chaya’s son is my second cousin). My aunt lives in Skokie, the site of a major legal battle for our civil rights. In the 1970’s a Nazi group applied for a city permit so that they could protest against Jews. At that time the city was about 40 percent Jewish and the city rejected it. So the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the city because they believed that everyone has the right to peaceful assembly, even people with bad ideas. In the end the ACLU won. I agree with ACLU. After a great meal at Judy and Mick’s we went to Aunt Chaya’s apartment to talk about her life. She had cross stitch that she made all over her apartment. It was amazing how precise each stitch was. Aunt Chaya survived the Holocaust. She said that at first they shut down her father’s store but let them stay. After a while her family was sent to a ghetto. But after several weeks they were sent back home. This time they had to wear yellow stars at all times on their clothes. Their neighbors treated them very badly after that. One neighbor who owed her family money had her father thrown in prison so that he would not have to pay. In 1944 they were taken away to the camps. Out of nine people only my grandfather and my great aunt survived. After the war ended she and papa saw each other at their old house and the reunion was very happy. After the war Aunt Chaya got married and eventually moved to Israel. She said that Papa was always very nice to her and that even he sent her a refrigerator while in she was living in Israel. Once we said goodbye to Aunt Chaya we dropped Mom off at the airport. Then we drove for a while and went to a restaurant called the Candlelight Inn and ate. We finally got to our hotel in Williamsburg, Iowa around 10:30pm. What a long day.



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