Saturday, 9 January 2010

My Lovely Nanny

Happy Saturday everyone!
Recently, the Government were talking about taking The Holocaust out of the school curriculum as it may offend Muslims... luckily for every sane person in the country, the campaigns against this won and The Holocaust will not be taken out of the curriculum. It got me thinking though, in ten or fifteen years from now, there will be no World War II survivers left, no one who was there to tell us the stories first hand and that is such a shame. I am only 25, but I want to make sure that I know all of the stories and I want to one day pass them onto my children too.. I hope others of my generation feel the same as I think it is so important to keep the legacies of all these wonderful fighters going.

A few weeks ago I was sat with a friend of my parents whose father was one of the Schindler Jew's (if you don't know what Im talking about I urge you to see the film Schindlers List as soon as possible!). Unfortunately, he died a few months ago but his son knew all of the stories and was only too happy to relay them all to me. I found the stories fascinating - the day to day struggles they endured in the Ghetto and the concentration camps were beyond anything you and I can imagine, yet they had such strength and determination to survive. Every story from every Holocaust surviver has depth and meaning and no matter which films you watch or books you read, by doing so, you are helping to keep the legacy of not only the last few survivers alive, but also the legacy of the more than 6 million who died during the war.

After hearing Arie's story, I started thinking about my own grandparents and their war stories. Luckily for me, I was a very inquizitive child, so I managed to get many war stories out of my grandparents. Fortunately, my maternal grandparents were from the East End of London and there they lived during World War II. This meant a lot less anguish (and anti-semitism) than those Jews who lived in Eastern Europe, but they too saw their fair share of destruction, mainly caused by air raid bombs.

During the war, my nanny - Julie - worked as an accounts clerk for the war firemen in County Hall while my poppa - Davie - was shipped off to India for four years. With their men shipped off to fight all over the world for the British army, it was not just the Eastern Europeans who came out of the war with fascinating stories...

My nanny passed away nearly 6 years ago but she left behind her a wonderful legacy. A story of love, loss and sacrifice, and thanks to the pictures she has left behind and the research I have managed to do over the past few years with the help of my mum, my second book will be about the wonderfully gripping account of what it was like for the women who were left behind during one of the most brutal wars in human history.

I have posted pictures of my Nanny throughout the years and I hope you enjoy them!
The pictures are as follows: Julie in her uniform, Julie at a dinner party during the war, my Poppa acting silly as usual with my Nanny and her sister by his side, a family holiday with Nanny, Poppa, my mum - Marsha and my uncle - Harry, on holiday with the family and some friends and one photo of my mum and Nanny about 2 years before she died.

My nanny was one of the most wonderful, caring, generous people I have ever met and my life was blessed for having her in it for a remarkable twenty years. Julie Zeegan deserves to be remembered.

I hope you enjoyed this brief insight into my grandparents lives and I will keep you updated on the progress of the book which I promise will be a gripping, nail biting tale of life in the East End of London during World War II.

Have a great weekend.. keep smiling and loving!

Love always,
Lauren V xoxox

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