Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Mother Never Spoke...

about the Holocaust.

While growing up, my brothers and I weren’t  privy to the “How”my Mom and her family escaped Nazi held Austria. The few details we had were murky at best. 

In 1939, Clara Zinn emigrated from Vienna. She might or might not had been with her two siblings or her parents on the NYC bound ship. The European country she debarked from was also part of the mystery. 

What we knew was this. The Zinn family settled in New York. Young Clara met Sid Sambur on a blind date. After the War, they married and got down to business of raising three sons. I’m the youngest.

When it came to those tumultuous WW II years, the unofficial Sambur policy was “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.”  Clara nurtured, hugged and loved her Boys. We were blessed by the best Mom in the World. When life is good, why ask questions? So we didn’t. 

In 1972, God recalled an Angel back to Heaven. Mom was 52. 

I was 17. 

Years went by. I emigrated to Colorado. One day, Sid (My Dad) phoned me. 

“Jeffy! I have bad news. Grandma Zinn passed away.”

“ Oh! That’s so sad! She was such a sweet woman. I loved her.” 

Sid never minced words, “Don’t feel so bad. She wasn’t your real Grandma. Clara’s Mom was killed in the Holocaust.” 

Who knew?

Now we live in times where it’s in vogue to speak your mind, to tell it like it is. “Alternative Facts” are fine as long as you say them in a convincing manner. America now has a Racist Mentor occupying the White House. The Commander in Tweet believes American Immigrants should be predominantly White Christians from Norway. (But only if they are not handicapped). In Trump’s geopolitical world other countries are “shit holes.” 

Presently, there is no such thing as a politically correct pause button. Wannabe candidates reckon if the President can get away with trash talk, so can they. 

In this political climate change, is it any wonder Patrick Little is currently ahead of all other Republicans in California’s Primary race for Senate? Mr. Little (minded), is running under a platform of unabashed Anti-Semitism. The State Republican Party disavows his strong beliefs. Yet, this SS Stormtrooper in a suit could be on November’s ticket. 

Other States have similar like minded losers under the guise of being Republicans as well. Are these true American values? 

Back in 1974, then Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, made a joke about the Pope. Catholics rose up en mass to condemn his low brow comedy routine. He kept his job after a half hearted apology. Two years later, Mr Secretary verbalized an off-color jibe about Blacks. A wave of outrage forced him out of office. 

Where is the outrage in 2018? 

A recent survey of American millenniums (18-34 of age) reported  22% were unaware of the Holocaust. Education is the key to combat racism. If the human race aspires to evolve, it’s imperative we learn from our sordid past. 

My Mother never spoke about the Holocaust, but “We the People” need to.

RIP Mom. I still miss you. 

Last photo: it’s a shame my wonderful nephews never met their wonderful Grandma. 


  1. Jeff, I'm so sorry you lost your Mom so young. Hugs.

  2. Hey Jeff, thanks for sharing your story and continuing to express the outrage so many of us are feeling about the current political climate.