Ellen Korman Mains
My mother was one of two survivors of her family from Lodz. Long after she passed away, I learned that she and her family had happily spent every summer with their large extended family in the small nearby town of Tuszyn – until the Holocaust.
In 2010 I visited Tuszyn, alone, to see if the place itself would speak to me about the past. Unbeknownst to me, a few hundred feet from where I stayed was the unmarked and overgrown Jewish cemetery where some of my relatives were buried. Something stirred deep within me that night. I felt a profound, loving connection with my ancestors and a re-awakening of my own life force. But I didn’t know what to do with that feeling. I continued visiting Poland and doing research about the Holocaust and my family, which I described in my book “Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust” (2018).
The next year, 2019, a Polish school teacher in Tuszyn reached out to me, looking for Jewish descendants from Tuszyn. He drove me from Warsaw straight to the unmarked, overgrown and trash-filled cemetery in Tuszyn, next to the place I had stayed. He was passionate about honoring and remembering the former Jewish community of his town and we immediately became partners. I was lucky to find such support despite the challenges, but many descendants don’t know how to begin. FJCP can provide much needed support, resources and comradeship.