Whatever issues you might be dealing with today, the following story will set you straight and put it all in perspective.
This is a little except from new book, LIFE LESSONS FROM THE OLDEST AND WISEST, which launches in November.
Rose Lindenberg grew up in Germany in the 1920s.
She lived a good family life in Rhineland. Her parents made a nice living.
Her life was probably much like yours, relatively comfortable, seemingly safe, filled with family and friends.
Rose is Jewish and when Hitler came to power in 1933, all hell broke loose.
As Rose recalled, “We knew Hitler was bad but we didn’t know how murderous he and the Nazis really were.”
Her father and brother were suddenly pulled out of their home by the Gestapo. Her father died in a concentration camp. Her brother escaped to Siberia.
Rose was 14 and stayed with her mother in Germany… only to witness Kristallnacht, the wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms which took place in November 1938.
“That was the end. We had no family. No nations would take us. All the borders were closed. My mother saw that we wouldn’t get out alive.”
She had heard of a woman snuggling girls out of Germany and into Belgium.
So at 14 years old, Rose saw her mother for the last time and was smuggled across the border. She doesn’t know how her mother died, most likely in a concentration camp.
Just like that, her family was gone.
“It was the most traumatic thing…somebody pulled the rug from under your feet…you don’t know who you are…you are a stranger to everybody…i remember that feeling it was horrible.”
Rose was then part of the Kindertransport, the informal name of a series of rescue efforts which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain.
She arrived in London just a few days before the bombling blitz of London by the Nazis.
The bombs killed over 50,000 and maimed 250,000 people.
On top of the fact that the Nazis killed 1.5 million children, Rose considers it a miracle she is here today.
She didn’t talk about her story for years and years but now in her 90’s, she realizes how important it is to share it.
“I am still a witness.”
Rose considers herself the luckiest person in the world.
She had no family when she came to America after the war, but she created a family (see pic with her great grandaughter).
Rose’s advice to young people. “With my own family, I hear them talking that they have ‘issues.’
“I will say ,’You don’t even know what an issue is.’”
“I always have to believe better days are coming…”
Before you dive into your next email and next thing you have to do today…remember:
Whatever your struggles might be , and we all have something, if Rose can escape the Nazis, survive the bombing blitz over London, and do it all ALONE at the tender age of 14…you can overcome your problems today!
You are ALIVE. And that is the most amazing blessing of them all.
To follow more stories from the oldest and wisest, check out @WiseElders