11 November 2016

Published November 9, 2016 by rochellewisoff

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Another HighwayThe next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 98


                                                                                                                                       August 1953

Chère Maîtresse,

            Today I hold my firstborn, Lois Marie. Marie is for my mother of blessed memory who perished before I turned nine.    

            Remember how she shoved me into your tender arms at Camp de Rivesaltes? Remember how you kissed away my tears? Why did you leave your comfortable home to spit in the face of death?

            “It is my purpose,” you said.  

            Although I’ve been criticized for naming my Jewish baby after a living gentile, it’s only right to honor the American angel who combed the lice from my hair.

            Je ne t’oublierai jamais, Lois Gunden.

*Note: It is an Ashkenazi Jewish tradition to name a child after someone, usually a family member, who has passed on. To a certain extent it’s believed that the soul of the loved one lives on in the child who bears his or her name. 



Lois is one of the “righteous gentiles” honored at Yad VaShem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

lois-gundenTo learn about this courageous woman more click here. 

83 comments on “11 November 2016

    • Dear CE,

      Every time I follow this thread I find another obscure hero. I feel compelled to tell their stories every and any time I can. Your words are sweet music to my eyes. Thank you for such a lovely comment.




    • Dear Ellen,

      This is a comment/compliment that touches my soul in the deepest part. Although my generation was born after the fact, the centuries of persecution are ingrained. We must never forget. Thank you so very much.



      Liked by 1 person

      • My grandson will be eleven on the eleventh November and I know he is proud to be born on our day of rememberance. As he was /is sickened by the awfulness of the holocaust. Lest they should not be told “Grandma’s job done”. 😇

        Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Doris,
    I loved this snippet and the accompanying link. There is no greater love than those who would risk/sacrifice their lives to save another. Once again you have brought a little-known face from the past and made her live again for our benefit.

    I shan’t be participating this week, as I return to the wilderness on Friday for a five day sabbatical. I hope to play next week. Peace be with you as you venture off to become a radio personality and your joyous time with Olive.

    I shall return,
    Chip McMurray

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Chip,

      To the wilderness? Would this be in hot pursuit of venison? Tis the season. Jan is gathering his tools of the hunting trade. Hoping to score as we’ve all but eaten last year’s.

      I’m glad you liked my little story and took the time to say so. Thank you for the well wishes. Enjoy your time in the wild. Relax and fuhget about us Friday Fictioneers who will be pining away for our weekly portion of humor.




    • Dear Clare,

      I’m pleased that line stood out for you. There was so much of her story to cram into 100 words. That is one of the things that leaped out of her story. Lois Gunden had a comfortable job and home. No doubt she faced worse than lice. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Here’s something that’s always confused me~: In the Gospel of St Luke, people told Sts. Zachary and Elizabeth that they assumed their son (St John the Baptist) would be named after his father. That was the rule then. When did it change? Now a Jewish couple never names their child after someone who’s among the living

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent question, Larry. To quote Tevye, “How did this tradition get started. I’ll tell you. I don’t know.” It most likely came in the middle ages and is from Talmud. The same goes for some other Jewish laws that don’t originate in the Torah. I caught major flack when I didn’t name my second son after anyone in particular. We liked the name Travis, pure and simple. 😉

      Thank you and shalom,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Beautifully done, as per usual, Ms Wisoff-Fields! So many unsung heroes out there and you seem to be able to dig out so many! Bravo to you. And to all those people who sacrificed themselves for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you for sharing the story of another incredible woman. Some people are capable of such extraoridnary bravery and empathy. Good to remind ourselves of this at times when the world seems a hard, uncaring place.
    Great story, Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lizy,

      Glad that line brought the story alive for you. As for the naming, it isn’t so much the Gentile name as the naming a baby after someone not related or after someone living. However, my mother wasn’t too keen on my naming my first son Shannon. (It was after my grandfather Sam…starts with an S so it’s Kosher). And all hell broke loose with my uncle when I named my third son Christian…again…after my husband’s great great grandfather.
      I hope that answers your question.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • While I always enjoy your stories, it’s alway icing on the cake when you throw in these amazing pieces of history, that we can dig into and savor. Beautiful, beautiful!

    And, I have to know: what is the “teacher” reference from Honie/Stephanie! I don’t usually see her here at FF, and I’m intrigued. Another grand slam, Rochelle. Shabbat Shalom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dawn,

      Your words cheer me onward. I’ve been accused by some who shall remain nameless of going overboard with historical fiction and the Holocaust theme. There were so many heroes and not a few of them being women.

      I’m not sure on the “teacher” reference since I couldn’t get StepHonie to elaborate. But I’ve been called that before because these little vignettes tend to be educational. Of course, that’s what I’m reading into it. 😉

      Shabbat Shalom,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh, got it! That does make sense; I just thought maybe I’d missed something. Why would anyone have something to say about what direction you choose to go with YOUR stories! That is your niche, and you do it well. Feedback is always a good thing, I believe, but sometimes we don’t have to heed it. Shabbat shalom, friend. xo


    • Dear Bridget,

      Was your naming because of tradition or just a tribute to your poor great aunt? Are you Jewish? At any rate, there are many reasons people name a child. I was named after my Grandma Rose…The Ro is what counts I guess and the Hebrew name. Rochelle was after an 1930’s actress Rochelle Hudson. Thank you for coming by. I hope by now your flu is a thing of the past.



      Liked by 1 person

      • My Grandmother was half Jewish.
        I am not sure if they named me Bridget because of the Austrian or Jewish tradition.

        As for the flu. It’s going around here in this area. I am feeling better, but I bark better than my dog right now.

        Have a great weekend!


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