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Guest Book Entries

Guest:  Merle Hirsch     09/09/2006
Entry:  I learned of this site from my pre-school friend Valerie Landon Feldman and Marcia Storch of Olean, New York. I never knew the Van der Horst family intimately; however, I was an active member in the youth group of B'nai Israel in Olean. I remember Tanja vaguely as we both studied piano with Mrs. Todd. Tanja practiced and played, I just got frustrated. This past summer I was in Olean and visited the cemetery. When I learned of all that Sonja had done for the Jewish Community in Olean, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I have lived in Israel for 30 years. It is so much easier, in fact it is effortless, to be a Jew here. Thank you to Van der Horst family for having created this site and commenorating the Jews of small towns in the U.S.A. I have no idea if any of the Van der Horst descendents practice Judaism; however, just the fact that you ackowledge your roots and honor your parents is a great tribute to all of you. Thank you, Merle ROIZEN Hirsch
Guest:  gissell vanderhorst     03/28/2007
Entry:  I just came across this website my great-grandfather migrated from holland to the dominican republic, thats where I am from. My grandfather who passed away last year always told us about our family history, that all vanderhorst are related to one another. Nice to see vanderhorst of different ethinic backgrounds
Guest:  Kelly van der Horst     03/24/2007
Entry:  I'm glad I found this sight it's amazing my Tante Sonja was a wonderful woman I enjoyed spending time with her and I regret not spending more time with her before she passed she is loved and missed and I'm so happy her legacy lives on in things like this
Guest:  katie     08/21/2006
Entry:  i literally accidently came across this website what a powerful thing to have a mother like yours i wish i could have known her. thank you so much for posting her story it means the world to me. i wish that i knew what to say to you about her passing except that she must have done a wonderful job in raising you all to be the brilliant people that you are today
Guest:  Shelly Reswick, Lisa's little sister      08/01/2006
Entry:  Dear van der Horst Family, I am so sorry to learn of your mother's passing. Even though we Reswicks left Olean when I was just 6 years old, I do have some vague memories of your family. I remember Charles with a crew cut and horned rimmed glasses, and Jackie, lean and tan in the summer. Was Charles called Chucky then? I know I heard the van der Horst name mentioned often in our household with fascination and respect. I stumbled upon this site and was blown away. I paid little attention to adults during my fist six years, and had no idea what all this van der Horst talk was about. Now I know, and am very moved by your family's story. The “family Diary” particularly touched me as I went through the hospice experience with my mother Vicky in our home as well. It was stressful, exhausting, hilarious, and sad; but caring for my mother was ultimately one of the most moving and fulfilling experiences of my life. I hope it was so for you as well. Last year my 16-year-old daughter was studying the Holocaust in high school. One day, while the class was watching a documentary about the death camps, a few boys started making unspeakable anti-Semitic remarks, one of them whispering directly into my daughter's ear. She slapped him, and he reacted by calling her a "dumb Jew" (an oxymoron if ever I've heard one!). Everyone involved ended up in the Principal's office. My daughter got away with the slap (good for her!). The offending boys had a talking to from a police officer about hate crimes, and were suspended. It was a wake-up call for me about how much ignorance still needs to be overcome. So THANK YOU Sonya for sharing your story with the world, and for funding the professorship in Jewish History and Culture. There seems to be an endless need for information and education about the Holocaust and Jewish history, and Sonya knew it.
Guest:  John Fleri     05/25/2006
Entry:  My Father, Samuel Fleri, worked with Kuno Van der Horst in Olean, NY and Terrell, TX between 1949 and 1968.
Guest:  Chris van der Horst     05/19/2006
Entry:  Hi i live in australia and my family come from Holland and germany and i have found your website very interesting, i dont know all that much about my ancestry as a lot of records were lost during the war years but a lot of the names that are mentioned in the early years are similar to the names i have heard mentioned, maybe they are just popular names of those times, i wish we had the foresight to do what you have done when my mum & dad were still alive because they told such stories about those times . anyway keep up the good work and i will be back to have another look .
Guest:  Glenda K. Wiman     04/17/2006
Entry:  My husband and I consider Tanja and Bob Schwendinger to be among our very dearest friends....family, actually! Tanja is a remarkable woman...and now, after reading every word and looking at every picture on her mother's amazing website, I truly understand that the apple didn't fall too far. Sonja was larger than life..she lived through history..and she's left us all an invaluable legacy. Her life was a gift to all of us...and I'm honored to have spent time in her presence.. and I'm blessed to have her daughter and son-in-law in my life.
Guest:  Michael Saag, MD     03/31/2006
Entry:  I am a friend of Charles and I had met and had dinner with Sonja on several occasions. What a special person she was! And what a superb and fitting tribute this website is to her. Her testimony of her experiences during the Holocaust will remain an enduring legacy for future generations. Her memory is a blessing...and her life a true inspiration for all of us! Love to the entire family.
Guest:  Unknown Family Member     03/25/2006
Entry:  I know that even though Sonja was my father's aunt we had never met. I did not even know who you were when my mother told me you had died(I'm sorry to say). But I am very interested in the Hollocaust and I was amazed when I read about you. I am very sad I never got to meet you.I now know even more about the Hollocaust and some of my family's history.Thank you all so much for creating this website. I will always remember what I learned from this website.
Guest:  judy moss feingold     03/24/2006
Entry:  Dear Vanderhorst family and Olean friends. ---I had followed the last six months of Sonja's life and decline through Charles and Tanja etc, and I cannot tell you how very moved I have been and am still. My parents, too, left Nazi Germany (Leo and Lonny Moss) and so much of this rings true. You, Vanderhorst have been so brave and honest writing this and reminding the world today exactly what happened, and I admire you so much. If my mother were alive, she would too, and my Dad, Leo (now 94) listens to me read to him from the journals with a beautiful expression on his face. (and I love to hear from all of us Oleaners!! Growing up in Olean, also taught us bravery and courage, and we are so much better for that. love to all, Judy Moss Feingold
Guest:  Kid Writing Paper     03/21/2006
Entry:  Thank you so much for the good information. I am currently writing a paper about WWII and the Holocouast (i feel bad if i spelled that wrong) and this info has been very, very helpful. Thanks
Guest:  Roger van der Horst     03/20/2006
Entry:  So many of you have written such eloquent and kind words about my mother -- each message has provided us with a sense of meaning and comfort. We've heard from people we don't know, co-workers, friends new and old (Pat and Paul Barry!) and those who have been closer (hi, Mom-in-law.) Thank you all for writing and keeping us in your thoughts.
Guest:  Joanna Wicks     03/13/2006
Entry:  This website has been so touching and enlightening. I have heard some of Sonja’s stories and the family anecdotes before. Being Roger’s mother-in-law, Sonja and I shared grandchildren, Evonne and Jonathon. She always set high standards for her children and grandchildren and it shows! A great tribute to a strong woman.
Guest:  Teri Prince     03/13/2006
Entry:  Your mother's experiences and philosophy of life are an inspiration. Sharing these in this way is so important. Thank you for sharing this.
Guest:  Lisa Reswick     03/12/2006
Entry:  I'm very sorry to hear about your mother's passing. It's hard to believe -- she truly was a force of nature! As you recall, we visited with her a few years ago when I decided to drag my family to see where I grew up. I remember going to a a sort of mall in downtown Olean with her when my husband Dan asked if there was anywhere to find a New York Times. She thought maybe we could find one in the bookstore. She took off in search of it so fast, she left the three of us panting, trying to keep up. It startled my husband Dan who asked, "What's she doing?" I said, "Look, she escaped from the Nazis and now, if she wants to find a copy of the Times, she's damn well going to find one!" She took us to a nice lunch at the Country club, where she told us some of her stories. My daughter Lillie was very impressed.
Guest:  Susan Stedman     03/11/2006
Entry:  I have known Sonya for only 3 years now as we were both members of the YMCA aerobics class in Olean. I had just retired from teaching and joined the class because my mom, Margaret Wright , had told me so much about the dear ladies there. Sonja was definitely one of those. I was privileged to offer her rides back home after class occasionally and to visit the Service Store to "pick up a few things." Sonja was always so upbeat and funny with her way of expressing herself. One day in particular I remember. We had a substitute teacher for our aerobics class who was an expert in Pilates. After getting us in all kinds of positions the instructor said, "Now act like you're a mermaid." Out of the back of the room, came Sonya's voice with her little accent, "Do I look like a mermaid to you?" The whole class cracked up. I will miss her so much. She was a very unique and wonderful lady.
Guest:  Elly Meijer     03/11/2006
Entry:  What a gift to have had such a mother and grandmother. What a remarkable and a great woman.
Guest:  Charles Chasela     03/10/2006
Entry:  It ws sad to hear about death of Sonja but to learn about what she has passed through gives life a new meaning. Her story leaves scars of memory in my life.
Guest:  Paul Farel     03/09/2006
Entry:  I was very sad to read the news of your mother's death. Even though she was ill, it still seems that someone who had gone through what she had would be able to continue to cheat death. Although I never met her, what I surmise from knowing you and your family is that she must have been a remarkable woman--not only in her determination during the war, but in being able to continue with her life afterward. Such experiences always leave scars, but your mother must have put the same indomitable will to work on living that she did on avoiding death. Please know that all our thoughts are with you and your family.
Guest:  Theo and Petra Pouw     03/09/2006
Entry:  Dear Tanja, Charles, Roger and other members of the family Vanderhorst, Theo and I just got your letter and we looked on the internet as you suggested to us. There we read that your mother has been ill and that she died on March 1, which is only a week ago. We are very sad about that and we want to send our condolances to you. We promise to read and listen to her story. She will never be forgotten, we only met her at Christmas in Olean in 1970, but we have been in touch ever since around Christmas time by mail. We hope that you are all at peace with her death, now that she does not have to suffer any more. May God have her soul. Many greetings and love from Petra and Theo Pouw The Netherlands
Guest:  Kevin Murrin     03/08/2006
Entry:  Dear VanderHorst family, I was up in Olean and Ithaca this past weekend to see my mother and check on the house. On Monday I met my friend Jim DiPietro who did work on your mother's home and my mother's home, and while we chatting he told me of your mother's passing. We traded some stories about her, and I told him what great friends she and your dad were to my parents. She was a great person who lived life with a passion. Now with her gift to UNC, she and her story and all those who went through what she did will live on. Please accept my condolences, and know that Sonja and all of you are in our prayers. Kevin Murrin, Chattanooga, TN
Guest:  Craig Hinman     03/08/2006
Entry:  It was my extreme pleasure to have known your Mother. As a resident of Olean for many years and previous owner of Uptown Florist in Olean, It was my pleasure to have known your lovely Mother. On numerous occasions and special family events, I interacted with Sonja and was always made to feel welcome. Although I never knew much of her past, I now know how much she endured and feel as if she has been able to tell me more through the video than she could in person. What a wonderful tribute to her life. I was always touched by her gentleness and sincerity. May she rest in peace. Craig Hinman, Ottawa, ON Canada
Guest:  L. Blackman     03/07/2006
Entry:  My sincere sympathy at the death of Mrs. Vanderhorst. She was a blessing to all who knew her and those of us who had just read about her. My prayers are with the family.
Guest:  Margaret Wright     03/07/2006
Entry:  I have known Sonja for many years in taking aerobics at the Y.By bits and pieces I learned a little about her life. In reading her antedotes I really enjoyed laughing at her antics.It was like she was in the room with me.
Guest:  Karen van der Horst Storms     03/07/2006
Entry:  Dear Cousins, I hope all of you are safely home now. I am sorry that I was not able to attend your mother's funeral due to the weather. I just want you to know how much I loved your mother and how sorry I am that you must experience this loss. There is no easy way to say good bye to a parent, no matter how old you are. I have spent many moments this week remembering the very good times I had in your house as a kid and the four days that Sonja and I had together in San Francisco. We laughed at so many things and I cannot eat a truffle without thinking of your mom. Of course, she had her quirks, but that is what made her special. As I emailed earlier this week, I thank you so much for the care that you gave to her during these past months. You can all be thankful that you had the circumstances and patience to offer this to your mother. You have set a standard for the rest of the family. Take comfort in your memories. They are precious. Much love,Karen
Guest:  Stan and Einat Greenberg     03/07/2006
Entry:  Shalom Charlie, Laura, and all the Van der Horst clan, We were very sorry to hear of Sonya's passing. Even though her death relieved her of suffering, the separation is always painful. From reading the Internet site you created for her we're sure she received the most dedicated care possible in her last days. We will remember Sonya from your visit in 1998 as a wise and funny woman, full of down-to-earth joie de vivre. The family trip was ample evidence of the love and respect that she endowed to all of you. Yiheye zichra bruch (יהיה זיכרה ברוך) . Einat and Stan
Guest:  Betsy Murrin Colbert     03/06/2006
Entry:  Dear VanderHorst family on behalf of our family I send our most sincere condolences..your mother was a great woman and inspiration to all that knew her. You all have so much to me proud of. I am sure you have great memories of your mother. Our thoughts are with all of you.
Guest:  Katja Moos     03/06/2006
Entry:  Charlie, unfortunately, I never had the honor of meeting your mother. What a remarkable and brave woman. Thank you for sharing. May she rest in peace.
Guest:  mark perry     03/05/2006
Entry:  Awe and inspiration are the words that come to mind after viewing this wonderful testimony to a life. The van der Horst family connection is one that richly enhanced my growing up in Olean. Thank you for sharing your Mom's journey so beautifully for all of us to gain such strentgh from. Sonja will be missed but always remembered.
Guest:  Margaret Hood     03/04/2006
Entry:  This remarkable woman's life and legacy will live on forever. Her family is indeed blessed for having such a wonderful woman's life documented with love, courage and the will to never be defeated, in life and in death. Blessings go with this family as they carry on her most remarkable legacy.
Guest:  Dawn Bailey     03/04/2006
Entry:  I was fortunate enough to meet Sonja at the Olean YMCA. (I work at the front desk)She always said good morning and was always so kind.The way she carried herself she was a true kind hearted wonderful person. I am greatful to be able to say I knew.She will be greatly missed
Guest:  Greg Woz     03/03/2006
Entry:  I knew Sonja when she used to come to the old Olean YMCA for at least four years. I have MS and she always asked me if I found a parking space, and because of her, I always did. I am sure God will find her a parking space in Heaven.
Guest:  Connie Crumpler     03/03/2006
Entry:  I am not Jewish, nor do I know Sonja van der Horst. I read her obituary in today's News & Observer newspaper and was intrigued enough to want to see her website.I have looked at the pictures, read the anecdotes and part of the family diary. I have only been able to watch 1 of the videos so far. Yet, I am strangely touched by this woman and her family. There are tears in my eyes as I write this. What a remarkable woman she was. What a remarkable legacy she leaves. I thank her family for allowing the public to share her legacy. The Holocaust was the most terrible occurrence in modern history. I agree that more understanding of the Jewish history and culture is necessary in this modern world. Thank you for doing what you can to educate us all.
Guest:  Mary Carls     03/03/2006
Entry:  I have had the pleasure of teaching Sonja in my Senior Aerobics class at the Olean YMCA for many years. Listening to her life brings everything into focus on what made her the wonderful person she was. I now realize the strength and conviction she brought to class, comes from the many trials in her life. A lovely woman, myself and all her friends at the YMCA will truly miss her.
Guest:  Mary Kay Sims Ash     03/02/2006
Entry:  Thank you so much for sharing your mother's journey. "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." -Maya Angelou
Guest:  Skip Hunter     03/02/2006
Entry:  Sonya's life will be marked by many wonderful memories of her and stories of this remarkable lady. Rest in pease dear great Lady.
Guest:  Jeanette Hammer     03/02/2006
Entry:  Guest - Jeanette Hammer - 3/2/2006 Your story of your loving mother "Sonya" makes me proud to have known her. Her courage is indeed an inspiration to all. Thank you for letting us share and keep alive all those who have suffered.
Guest:  Kimberly Headen Rempson     03/02/2006
Entry:  Charlie, I read the history of your mother's life. She was a remarkable woman, dedicated to her family and to the education of others. I thank you and your family for sharing her story.
Guest:  Leah Friedman     02/28/2006
Entry:  This a story that ran in my paper The News & Observer (www.newsobserver.com), on Sunday, and it really moved me. It's about a Holocaust survivor who saved and invested her reparations from Germany --$100 a month -- and is now donating $650,000 of her life savings to help establish a Jewish Studies professorship at UNC-Chapel Hill. I was inspired by Sonja van der Horst and the way she lived her life. I mean this woman has no reason to even want to give to the world after the Nazis murdered her family. In addition, I have a personal connection b/c Sonja's son, Roger, is an editor here at the paper. I also think there is no better time for Jewish studies programs than now. With the climate we are living in these days -- Iran's leader saying the holocaust was a myth, and Pat Robertson saying Sharon deserves to have a stroke -- a Jewish studies program is needed more than ever. Education and tolerance are the only ways to fight ignorance. (Gosh I should go into the bumper sticker writing biz) Anyway, enjoy the article. I know it's about UNC, my dear fellow UVA'ers, but if it makes you feel better, the reporter is a UVA alum. And if you should feel like donating to the fund, go to: https://www.webslingerz.com/unccas/gift.html (the 's' has to be on https) Donors must enter "JMA and Sonja van der Horst Professorship in Jewish Studies" under the "Designate Your Gift" heading. I hope you are well, and may we all live our lives more like Mrs. van der Horst
Guest:  Jill Meltzer     02/28/2006
Entry:  Thank you for sharing this loving and inspiring tribute to your mother with us. Of particular interest to me are Sonja's thoughts on survival-- it seemed for her it was simply nonnegotiable. Survival meant not fighting back (a concept that is difficult to accept today), but maintaining hope and using her capable wits. I don't know what conclusions Charles drew from his interviews, but it would be interesting to know whether the motivation to surivive "no matter what" shown by his interviewees is derived from Jewish tradition or basic human instinct. It is ironic that the lead story in our LA paper today is the spread of the holocaust in Darfur and Chad. Clearly, the holocaust diaglog must continue.
Guest:  Carl Grunfeld, M.D., Ph.D.     02/28/2006
Entry:  I am a friend and colleague of Charles. Part of my was killed and part survived. Your story resonated with me even after hearing my family's and many other stories of the tragedy.
Guest:  Judy Patton     02/27/2006
Entry:  Mom (Jean Godfrey) and I speak of Sonja daily. She has been an incomparable friend to Mom and an inspirational figure to all of us. Mike and I watched her compelling and powerful testimony with awe. Her ability to endure and to prevail is so moving to all of us -- we will miss her so much. Thanks for sending the video of her testimony. Mom will watch it in the next few days and, though she knows most of the story, I have no doubt that she will be overwhelmed with it once again. She sends her love to her dear friend, Sonja.
Guest:  Manny Freitag and Theresa Hibye     02/25/2006
Entry:  Thank you for sharing Sonja's story with us. We appreciate being friends. When I said how much I admire her accomplishments even after her ordeal-her answer was 'What's to admire?' We always enjoy her company-so pleasant and so wise.
Guest:  Marcia Storch     02/23/2006
Entry:  Your mother's story is a tribute to all those who perished during the Holocaust. I read your entries from the present back to the beginning and many times my tears clouded the words. What a wonderful experience your family has been given to spend precious, uninterrupted time with your mother. How fortunate we all are to be able to share this experience. Thank you for including us in this journey. Sonja's Temple family are praying for her to be at peace. We greatly appreciate her generosity. We have decided to rename our adult study, The Sonja Van derHorst Adult Study. It's a small tribute to a lady who treasured the pursuit of knowledge. Thank you Sonja.
Guest:  Cara Lown     02/22/2006
Entry:  Thank you so much for putting together this web site. Sonja had told me her incredible story of surviving the war, but over time I have forgotten some of the details. It is wonderful to have it here for all of us to remember, and to admire her resourcefulness and strength. On a lighter note, I loved the anectodal stories and can almost hear Sonja's voice as I read them. I really laughed at the Joey Hughes story. My own children are now about that age and will make similar comments. As is often the case, Sonja provides a great response. Warmest regards to a great lady.
Guest:  Janie Larmon     02/21/2006
Entry:  You have all been in my thoughts and I really do think of your mom so often. And Mother and I talk about her with each phone conversation. Our mothers have indeed had a long and very special friendship...able to share their thoughts with a candor that too few people are able to acheive. They brought much succor to one another's lives through the years. I know Mother misses her tremendously.
Guest:  Skip Hunter     02/18/2006
Entry:  How well I remember your family from Olean in the 50's and 60's. What a great tribute to the family and your Sonja in particular. Wishing her and you all the best.
Guest:  Bill (Pat) Barry     02/16/2006
Entry:  A great tribute to a wonderful person. I grew up living one house away from the Van der Horst family and spent many childhood days hanging out with Roger and Jackie. the stories brought back a flood of fond memories. best wishes to all.
Guest:  Jamie (Thomas) Gregory     02/13/2006
Entry:  I was a friend of Jackie's growing up in Olean. I remember Mrs. Van der Horst when I visited their home. I loved listening to her accent. I am sorry to hear of her illness. My best wishes to the entire family and a huge hello to Jackie.
Guest:  Ronnie Schenkein     02/13/2006
Entry:  I have enjoyed my all-too-brief acquaintance with Sonja at Temple B'nai Israel in Olean, NY. I was surprised and impressed to hear of her legacy to UNC by Mark Halpern's posting on a Galicia Digest newsletter. Please convey my good wishes to a woman who has my complete admiration. Ronnie Schenkein
Guest:  Paul Barry     02/12/2006
Entry:  What a wonderful site! This is a great tribute to your mother. I particularly enjoyed the story about the lawnmower... as a fellow Hillcrester it was always entertaining to watch you guys swinging the power cord across the lawn. I will always remember your mom coming out and 'ringing the bell' for dinner yelling "Roger... Jackie..." and you all yell back "coming" and then high tailing it home. I am sorry to hear about your mom's health. She is a great lady.
Guest:  Alston Gardner     02/11/2006
Entry:  What an incredible tribute to an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing it with those of us who have read about the Holocaust, understand it intellectually, but need these personal stories to really get it. I plan to use this in my history class. With love and respect, Alston Gardner
Guest:  sandra moore     02/10/2006
Entry:  Tanya, Roger, Charles and Jackie this project so represents everything I have ever known, learned or believed about the van der Horst family. Thank you for your generosity of heart and spirit. Sonja what a blessing you are to this life. Love Sandy Moore
Guest:  Anne-Marie Carnegie.     02/08/2006
Entry:  I stumbled on this article & your mother's remarkable life story, purely by accident. I feel very humbled to have read this. Thank you. May God Bless your dear mother and all of her family. I aim to visit Olean again this year (from Scotland)..and will say a special prayer for your mother whilst I'm there. +
Guest:  L G B     02/07/2006
Entry:  Thank you for the article on Mrs. Van der Herst in Sunday's edition of the "News and Observer." As a retired history teacher (36 yrs) I enjoyed reading about the accomplishments of someone who survived the horrors of Nazi dominated Europe. I am very happy that the family is able to support UNC-CH so generously. Those funds are sorely needed to provide more and better education relating to Jews and the hardships and deprivations they have had to undergo. I know I have had students in my classes who thought events of the Nazi Era, Halocaust and in general persecution of Jews, never took place. To many of them, it was like some fictional account by some person or persons. My daughter is a graduate of UNC-CH (BA and JD) and we use the medical services there. Our late son was provided excellent treatment for cancer there from 2003 until his death in May of 2005. We try to help fund events as much as we can and we are grateful to others who do so as well. Thank you again for your article...and to the Van Der Herst, I say a special thank you and God Bless you .
Guest:  Jan Schochet     02/07/2006
Entry:  Thank you Sonja for your generous donation to my (and my family's) alma mater. In these troubling times of people proclaiming internationally that the Holocaust didn't happen, it is more important than ever for those terrible times to be remembered, revealed to those who don't know and taught, as those who lived it are ageing out of our population every day.
Guest:  Krisha Miller     02/07/2006
Entry:  Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Guest:  Alter Ophir     02/06/2006
Entry:  Thank you for this valuable historical site. As a son of a family who went through the same tragedies during the Holocaust in Poland, I couldn't but admire your parents and your family for giving us a chance to "live" your mothers life and to admire her final gift to mankind and to the Jewish people especially. You are blessed to be born to such great people
Guest:  Adlyn Loewenthal     02/06/2006
Entry:  What a remarkable experience, reading and listening to this web site. My 14 year old daughter is studying the holocaust in school, and being able to share this remarkable historical and personal tribute with her brings the past right into the present. The image of Sonja standing up to the Nazi soldier in the basement will inspire and give me strength for the rest of my life. And reading the family anecdotes, laughing out loud, gives me a fuller, richer picture of you, Charlie. You are very much your mother's son. Ted's and my thoughts go out to you, your family, and your mother as you so lovingly and consciously go through these last weeks and days.
Guest:  Jim Remer     02/06/2006
Entry:  Thank you so much for sharing your mother with us.
Guest:  R. G.     02/05/2006
Entry:  I am a junior Jewish Studies minor. I will actually be continuingmy Jewish studies in Melbourne Australia this semester. I read the article in the Raleigh N&O paper today about your mother. Please read this email to her if you get a chance. I want to thank her and tell her she is blessed. Not only is it a gift of a monetary amount, but to me, of so much more. It is a gift of love, for the Jewish people and contiued learning. It is a gift of support, to know that as the department contiues to grow, and I continually get excited as a new course is added, there is support from the community. Most of all, it is a gift of comfort. Comfort, to me and hopefully to your mother and family. Conformt in the words of your mother, in the end of the News and Observer article that ran today, not that MAYBE we will prevail, but that we WILL prevail. I hope that I can indirectly give your mother comfort that we will prevail, as I want to be a Jewish professional and make a difference in the Jewish world. In a totally different way, but I believe it can be compared, as it was hard to be a Jew in Poland during the holocaust, it is at times also hard to be a Jew in North Carolina and the South. But my faith is reafirmed with the love of people like your mother which allows for the education to continue. I believe through knowledge and education, we can combat ignorance and unacceptance. I feel so much comfort when I attend the Jewish Studies Lectures and see people of all ages coming together to learn. I hope you are able to attend some of the lectures in the series. Although, I am usually one of the few undergraduate students, I take comfort in knowing that a thirst for knowledge of Jewish studies does dont diminish when the formal college education end. So again, please pass along sincere thanks, respect, and ahavah to your mother and that she is in my prayers. Todah Rabah B'Shalom,
Guest:  Mark Halpern     02/05/2006
Entry:  Dear Chaya: Your memory will be forever with your family's generous gift to UNC. The world must never forget the destruction of European Jewry and the rebirth of their memory. You are a generous and compassionate role model for all of us. Mark Halpern West Chester, PA son of Tarnopoler Judel Halpern, born 1903
Guest:  Meredith Indermaur     02/05/2006
Entry:  What a moving life story of a truly remarkable woman. Her words are an education for those of us who can know of such horrors only from the history books. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Guest:  Jay & Elaine Viders     02/04/2006
Entry:  What a gift to be able to hear Mrs. van der Horst's life story first hand. Thank you.
Guest:  Frank N. Gundlach     02/03/2006
Entry:  I have watched the vidios and looked at the rest of this webpage for this remarkable woman. I have had the pleasure of discussing with her her life during WWII. I admire everything about her and particularily her ability to outsmart the Nazis and survive. Her education goes far beyond her formal schooling. She is an inspiration for all of us and my life has been enriched by my spending time with her. Her wonderful, well educated and successful children are a legacy for generations to come.

No more guest book entries are being accepted. Thank you for your support and interest.