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I don’t have a lucky rabbit’s foot or any other form of good luck charm.  My daily life has its own anxieties, but none that I could cure with a specific talisman.

However, one piece of jewelry remains with me and its presence has a very powerful influence upon me mentally and emotionally.  I am aware of the love and connection beyond time, the strength of a mother’s love, and the devotion to preserving memories of those who have come before and deserve to be honored long after their passing.

This particular necklace was 72 inches in length, in rose gold, and worn by my great-grandmother, Amalia.  As she had three sons and three daughters, at some point she chose to have the necklace broken into three separate chains, one for each of her daughters, as a legacy gift.

However, the gift became even more meaningful as it is literally the only physical item that we have from her other than our genetic makeup.

Exactly 80 years ago, in the devastating rise of the Reich and rampant anti-Semitism, my grandparents decided to leave Amsterdam for the safety of the United States. There was a great deal of paperwork, they needed to be sponsored by an uncle, and prove that they could support themselves with genuine employment skills and would not be a burden to the government of the United States.

This necklace was given to my grandmother, by her mother, at a train station in Amsterdam in 1938.  My grandmother was 25 years old and it was the last time that she would ever see her mother.

My great grandparents and my 12 year old great uncle were killed on September 24, 1943 in the Auschwitz concentration camp.  My grandmother was 52 years old.

All of the records of our family members’ birth and death dates, as well as the respective cities, was available from the Dutch Government Registry of Persons killed in the Holocaust.

During a trip to Holland in 1994, my mother collected and compiled all of the data that she was able to for her grandparents, first cousins, aunts, uncles, and great-grandmother. In all, more than 75 members of our family were killed in the Holocaust.  Many more relatives were not accounted for.  As my mother grew up with no extended family, she respected their lives with uncovering their stories and honoring their legacy.

My grandmother gave the necklace to me, her oldest granddaughter, in 1995.  My grandmother was 81 years old at that time.  She had many health issues that she survived including breast cancer and two heart attacks during her lifetime.  She felt that it was much more important to give her gifts to each of us “with a warm hand” rather than a cold one (after her death).  Throughout my grandmother’s life, until the time that she gave it to me, she never removed it from her neck and kept it close to her heart.  I believe that it pleased her as well to see her granddaughter, named after her mother, wear this necklace with pride and respect.

Perhaps, what gives it that spark of a talisman is that it continues to carry the strength of its history, love, and strong emotion each time that I wear it.

According to an actual appraisal from a professional jeweler, this necklace is not worth very much and may have a small boost in its value for strictly historic reasons.

As an actual link to family and my place on the chain of mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, it is priceless and could never be replaced.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/talisman/

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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5 Comments

  1. What a great story. So moving. Thank you. In Germany’s, I visited one of the camps, and I have not been the same towards me since then. I think that’s why today’s hate in America scares me, as an African American.

    • Hatred, anger and manipulation psychologically, with fear-mongering, economic struggles and political bullying show how quickly hatred can fester. Sadly, so many young people know nothing about the atrocities of the holocaust. That is scary too the ignorance…

  2. I don’t even know where to begin in responding to this beautifully written post. What a beautiful gift to have, to treasure, and to have been given the necklace by your grandmother while she was still alive. I am very sentimental, and also treasure the things given to me by those no longer here- just yesterday I wore a watch necklace that had been my mother in laws- feeling that connection, glad to have it around my neck. Yes, I understand how you feel it is a talisman- it connects you to your history, to those who perished. You are the continuing link in the chain of your family. ❤ ❤

    • You are so kind. I am drawn to the necklace because of its history and do feel great responsibility to care for it, as I would for the other mothers and strong women, who came before me. ❤

  3. Hi there!
    I’ve nominated you to participate in the Three Quotes, Three Days challenge. Basically, you post one quote each day and nominate 3 other bloggers to do the same. That’s it. Please don’t feel compelled to participate, but enjoy the quotes along the way 🙂


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