We Share the Same Sky

 

Chapter I: Like an Oak Tree
We meet Rachael, the storyteller, and her grandmother, Hana Dubova. Rachael introduces us to what led her to recording her grandmother’s war story and how that turned into a decade-long journey to bring a family archive alive. (includes strong language)
Learning Objectives:
  • Appreciate the intergenerational impact of the Holocaust.
  • Consider the role of upstanders during the Holocaust.
  • Articulate how the lessons of the Holocaust are significant today.
  • Rachael, the creator and host of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i>, sits with her younger brother and her grandmother, Hana, outside of Hana’s home near Philadelphia in the early 1990s. Rachael has spent her entire adult life researching and retracing Hana’s Holocaust survival story. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Rachael, the creator and host of We Share The Same Sky, sits with her younger brother and her grandmother, Hana, outside of Hana’s home near Philadelphia in the early 1990s. Rachael has spent her entire adult life researching and retracing Hana’s Holocaust survival story.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • In 1992, when Rachael was just three-years-old, Hana wrote her a multi-page, hand-written letter. In the letter, Hana wrote about her impressions of Rachael as a young child, reflected on their time together during a vacation in Maine and commented on the politics of the day. She wrote, “How lucky you are having such a loving, extended family. Your mom didn’t have the pleasure for nor the luxury having grandparents… When you’re much older and I’m still around, I’ll tell you about it.” <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. In 1992, when Rachael was just three-years-old, Hana wrote her a multi-page, hand-written letter. In the letter, Hana wrote about her impressions of Rachael as a young child, reflected on their time together during a vacation in Maine and commented on the politics of the day. She wrote, “How lucky you are having such a loving, extended family. Your mom didn’t have the pleasure for nor the luxury having grandparents… When you’re much older and I’m still around, I’ll tell you about it.”

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • “My brother was born June 30th, 1929. He was June 30th, my mother was July 1st and I was born July 2nd. Every time my mother was mad at us she would tell us that we were the worst birthday presents and when her birthday came around we were the best.” This photo, found in one of Hana’s family photo albums that she collected from Prague after the war, is of her with her younger brother, Petr, and their mother, Emilie, in Prague in 1929. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. “My brother was born June 30th, 1929. He was June 30th, my mother was July 1st and I was born July 2nd. Every time my mother was mad at us she would tell us that we were the worst birthday presents and when her birthday came around we were the best.” This photo, found in one of Hana’s family photo albums that she collected from Prague after the war, is of her with her younger brother, Petr, and their mother, Emilie, in Prague in 1929.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark. They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one foster farm to another every six months. This is Hana on one of her first farms in Denmark. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark. They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one foster farm to another every six months. This is Hana on one of her first farms in Denmark.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • Hana’s father and mother — Josef Dub and Emilie Dubova — on their wedding day in 1924. He was 26 and she was 19. Both Josef and Emilie were born to Jewish families in Kolín when it was still the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They officially became Czech when when the country was established in 1918 at the end of World War I.<br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana’s father and mother — Josef Dub and Emilie Dubova — on their wedding day in 1924. He was 26 and she was 19. Both Josef and Emilie were born to Jewish families in Kolín when it was still the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They officially became Czech when when the country was established in 1918 at the end of World War I.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.