What’s in a Name?

October 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm 3 comments

Nanny A fell last week so we didn’t get a chance to meet.  She’s okay – just a little black and blue.  So we were able to meet this week.

We had our routine breakfast and talked about my children.  We then, as usual, adjourned to the living room.

Nanny had a photo album waiting for me on the coffee table.  We went through it, the who, where, what, when of each photograph.  I took a few with me to copy.  I’ll take more next time.  I feel like they’re so precious that I don’t want to take them all at once in case I ruin or lose them.

Today, I will share with you the photograph and a little story about Madeleine Burton.

Madeleine Burton, 1948

Madeleine was married to Marc Wechsler, a Jewish physician.  Madeleine was not Jewish, so when France was occupied Marc was taken away, but Madeleine was not.

Marc was taken to a some sort of holding camp in the local area in France – I’m not clear on what this was and I’ll have to research this a bit.  Marc was determined to escape so he hatched an ingenious plan.

Somehow Marc had access to syringes; perhaps because of his profession he was assigned to the infirmary.  At any rate, he injected petroleum into his arm knowing it would cause a large abscess.  He knew that with a serious wound he would be transferred to the hospital for treatment.

The hospital was not secure.  Marc was able to get a message to Madeleine and she helped him break out through the window of his hospital room.

Madeleine was instrumental in Nanny’s life after the war.  Besides being a very good friend, she was actually the person who gave her the name she goes by legally today.

She said to Nanny, “You live in France now; you can’t go around with a Polish name like that”.

And Nanny agreed, and she was named Antoinette.  And she left Tusha behind.

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Entry filed under: Nanny A's Story. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lynn  |  October 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    These stories are just so amazing. I really had no idea. I can’t imagine how I would even survive such a trauma.

    Reply
  • 2. Melissa  |  November 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I really enjoy reading Nanny’s stories Liisa (though enjoy is not the right word-obviously, in the face of such hardship). I have often been contemplating the story of the woman who jumped off the train, and reflecting upon it.
    Anyway, have you read ”Sarah’s Key”? You might find it of interest. Part of it is set around what happened in France at the Vélodrome d`Hiver. xo, M

    Reply
  • 3. Nanny A’s Story: Putting It Together « Fit for a kid  |  October 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    […] -living with Tantine (her sister) […]

    Reply

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