CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte woman and her family received a letter that took them back more than 80 years -- to a time when their relatives suffered in Germany during the Holocaust.
“I am deeply ashamed of what us Germans did to yourself, your family,” Judy August said as she read the letter that her family received out of the blue.
August is of Jewish descent and her ancestors were terrorized during Adolf Hitler’s reign in the 1930s.
“There was a lot of fear in the Jewish community. Temples burned, people were killed,” August said.
August’s grandparents’ home in Nuremberg was taken, so it was shocking, all these years later, to receive a note from the granddaughter of Nazi sympathizers who were “given” the house.
“I felt like I was punched in the stomach,” August said. “Still to this moment I get emotional thinking about what it meant for our family.”
August said he uncle wrote back with words of love and forgiveness. She said she hopes to connect with the author of the letter.
“Whether she comes here or I go there, I’m sure that we will meet,” August said.
August runs the Butterfly Project, a Holocaust remembrance program, at the Jewish Community Center of Charlotte. It educates people so the painful past does not repeat itself.
“That allows school groups to come to the Levine JCC and go beyond the facts and figures of the Holocaust,” August said.
There is a memorial at the center for the 1.5 million children who perished. Each butterfly on the memorial represents a specific child lost.
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