The opinions, facts and any media content here are presented solely by the author, and The Times of Israel assumes no responsibility for them. A language buff, Van has studied Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew, although he can’t speak any of them.
We were going to explore the sporty side of Faust’s Metropolis.One station after another swept by in Czech, then names finally changed and we knew we had crossed into Germany. The 2014 trip began with an invitation to Eric from the Dresden government to visit the city in September for an annual program for former Jewish residents and their families.For 20 years, the city has hosted groups for tours, a visit to the new synagogue and the cemetery, and stories of flight and survival.Naomi and her father had been in touch with Carsten and Jan, two members of the fan club of Tennis Borussia, the venerable Berlin soccer club founded in 1902, for which Naomi’s grandfather had been a star player.We had arranged to meet them at an outdoor café at the Berlin Zoo. But that was easy; they were waiting on the road as we approached, practically bouncing with anticipation of meeting the granddaughter of the superbly talented “Sim Leiser,” who must have been the Imperial German equivalent of Babe Ruth.
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But we sensed we would move from one emotional world to another when the evening train passed the border into the country from which our families—her father and grandmother, my grandmother and great-grandparents—had come to the United States.