Monday, October 25, 2010

Fired up and pissed off

At some point in the future I plan to unleash some progeny on this unsuspecting planet. Yes, I'm talking about procreation.

Now, I don't when, I don't know exactly what - boy, girl, alien, whatever - but what I'm hoping for is a positive experience. Not the kind where you go to the hospital with the shit scared out of you because:
1. You have never given birth before
2. There is a weird, though slackening, code of silence among women as to what really goes down
3. Retards tell you to give birth on your back (SO DUMB - ok, technically not speaking from experience, but this isn't rocket science, it's gravity people)
4. Doctors like to do fun things like shoot you up with drugs when you may not want to them to speed the birth or
5. Cut you - yup - to move the process along

Granted there are times when there are complicating issues and the doctors are saving lives - and we thank them for that. I love doctors. But, what I don't love is what seems to me to be a serious lack of engagement by women in the process of pushing out that little screaming bundle. Girls - you need to stand up and get involved. READ EVERYTHING.

Having recently heard the experience described as a "ring of fire" I just don't think I need any further complicating psychological elements like a lack of dignity or respect for the my wishes or an unnecessary C-section or formula being forced on me on the way home ...


That brings me to my next beef. No cute puns here people. I'm talking about you Spencer Pratt.

I live in Hungary. I'm not Hungarian so I don't know if half the shit I read about this country is sensational, true or somewhere in between. But, I'm trying to figure that out.

So I've read things in "The Economist" for example that say all kinds of interventions are common practice - like cutting. Please. For God's sake. No cutting.

I kind of dig some of the things I've learned about lately like having a doula and giving birth in the water or even home birth - less germs, familiar environment, control over choices, no unwanted drugs and the option to go to the hospital if needed.





Um, I don't know what to say... I'm just astonished that this woman is in prison. Intrinsic to her professional role is bringing life into the world. A task to which she has surely proven herself capable.

A doctor who brings life into the world in jail for bringing life into the world?

Deeply saddened.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Get me the fuck out

Moved to Budapest six weeks ago or so.

Open mind, curious about the history, curious about the architecture, curious curious curious.

Now I want to rip off my skin - this place is shithole and I swear I have TB. Alcoholics and bums everywhere.

But now we're stuck. Fuck.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mambo #5 in München

Being Sommer, I've been wearing shorts around the Haus, which I would never do in public. Today I happened to catch a glimpse of my leg while walking past the mirror. I saw a new little dimple which sent me into that fantasyland where one thinks a little bit of plastic surgery can return one to their former 22 year old glory. And with that, I was inspired to write a poem - I think the tune will be obvious:

A little bit of lypo
On my thighs
A little bit of botox
In my eyes
A little bit of saline
In my boobs
A whole lotta plastic 's what I'll use

Now seems like a good time to emphasize a mantra I've recently adopted. And that would be, "My glass is half full" - or was that my face?

Also, as a very random aside - Lou Bega is from Münich? Who knew!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It seems....

I never get tired of getting upset about weddings. An article on "In Defense of Plus +1s" got my attention yesterday. As I saw it, the author's tone was pejorative toward couples who are in the process of planning their weddings. He was particularly bent out of shape because he had been invited to weddings without being allowed to bring a guest.

Well, you can read the article here and see for yourselves where you stand on the issue. I felt VERY compelled to respond, along with what seems to be the rest of the universe - there are hundreds of posts with a slew of interpretations. I was feeling particularly proud of myself and my snarky little response post and so I thought I would share it with you.

Of course, I recommend reading the original article first, and then my response.

Decade Four
Maybe the right way to handle +1s is more like, "It depends"? Maybe there is no hard and fast rule? Why should weddings be like a McDonald's franchise - every gesture as uniform as a perfectly timed deep fryer? Maybe our CRITICAL THINKING skills allow for INDIVIDUALITY?

My ‘+1 rule’ was to make sure everyone had someone familiar around. Some got +1s (college gfs), other's (undergrad cousin’s w/ close family there) didn't. My mother got 3. She is single, 2 of her ex-husbands were at the wedding (fun!), her family lived abroad and wasn’t coming. Guess what? She didn't bring anyone! She was so excited about the day, didn't think she needed a +1 and walked down the aisle alone, yet confident.

Maybe the author could forgive IF he realized the wedding isn't “his happiness vs the evil couple”. Do these innumerable decisions revolve around him? Cake, ceremony, music, flowers, food, seating, venue, groom's wear, wedding party, decorations, alcohol, time, date, length, cost, first dance, caterer, dj? band?, rings, bridesmaids, groomsmen, payment strategy, payment method, parents pay? pay yourselves? gown, shoes, make-up, hair, sit-down, buffet or champagne & cake? f^cking etc.

It's clear he's never planned a wedding and has an inflated sense of self - "Look at me! I've got mad guest picking skillz! My +1s are cooler than your wedding guests!" So… +1s are allowed IF said +1s are cool? Uncool +1s are expendable? I’m sure the author dictates the ‘objective’ standard for cool.

Spouse are “grumbling tagalongs…We don’t select [them] on the basis of their social skills” Spoken like someone who isn't in love or happily married. Plenty of “tagalongs” probably know the bride & groom, and maybe even LIKE them and will DANCE and have FUN with them!

"The point of a wedding is excess" Really? What is excess? All excess is not equal. How can he be so confident in his definition? He thinks detractors from his take on social appropriateness (customized to serve him & his non-married cool friends) should be chastised. Fascistic much?

Also, I won't forgive your insolence. And, subtractionist ideology? The couple is in this predicament is b/c their glasses are half full (note the willingness to marry). They’re trying to INclude people.

Fascistic valuation of control of pleasure? What is that? Besides, wtf do you think a wedding is? Prioritizing pleasure over control? It’s a rite of social passage – loss & gain. Common the world over. And a painful one. The couple has to find a way to get through together. Married couples across America un-affectionately remember guests like the whiney author who made planning more difficult & complained, "I want it MY way! Wahhh!"

Did your mother take your video games away to make you finish your blog post? Feeling cynical bc/c she is weaning you off the teat? Maybe she said it was time to move out? But, I get it. You're 35, single and still living at home – really, who wants to do their own laundry and make their own breakfast?
Yesterday, 3:30:56 PM GMT+02:00
Liked by
Laura Davis
Daniella Escalante
Danielle Miriam Stillman
Decade Four - laughed at and liked!
Today, 6:54:53 AM GMT+02:00
Decade Four
Today, 3:57:15 PM GMT+02:00

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The constant reminders of terror

It's late, and I'm very tired but, we're trying to decide about whether to take an apartment in Budapest, soon to be our new home.

It's a big place, the apartment itself is well restored, some beautiful architectural details, original hardwood floors, interior courtyard, though, much of the building needs renovation - the common areas have clearly not been touched in over 40 years.

I was curious about a building across the street - it seemed sort of emptyish but not altogether abandoned.

I typed in the address of our unit and searched on Google maps to see if anything came up across the street. Nothing on the map directly.

I searched on just the street name of our address, again on Google maps, and this time I added the word 'terror.' When I came out of our (potential) building last week, I saw a plaque on this other curious building - the engraving was entirely in Hungarian - except I could make out the word 'terror.'

I found out what this place was just now:

Here is one photo to give you an idea:

It is actually a hopeful story from the time of WWII and the slaughter of so many Jews. But, still, somehow, the unexpected discovery of this in my daily life saddened me greatly.

Oh man

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about the things that frustrate me but it ain't so easy.

Trying to learn this damn German healthcare system - which healthcare company to choose - but the sites are all in German.... ug.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Prostitutes and my husband

Hey guys, feeling lonely? Look no further than the Meridien Budapest. I think if you go right now, there is a nice young woman who needs some company.

Enter the hotel through the front door - you might want to carry a briefcase or wear a suit and tie - you'll recognize her bright red sweater - and she'll direct a friendly, "Hi" in your direction.

A bit of eye contact and a response and your prayers for companionship will be answered.


Luckily, my husband wasn't feeling so lonely when he was propositioned by a Hungarian honey on his way back to his hotel this evening. Let's hope that doesn't change anytime soon.... ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In re: Poland:

A friend in the US recently asked me what my reaction was to the recent plane crash in Russian which killed many members of Poland's political, military and intellectual elite. Here is my email to her which I furiously typed up on my Blackberry - I didn't have internet access when I wrote this because we had just moved into a new apartment in Munich the day of the crash (slightly edited):

Hi there - well, I cried for like four hours last night and in Poland they are in a national week of mourning.
There are a number of things that make this event so painful for the Polish people and all of it has to do with their relationship w the Russians.

As u may know Russia invaded Poland from the east right after germany did from the north in the fall of 1939. The Russians killed hundreds of thousands of Poles. Unfortunately, the Poles falsely believed they were going to have back up from powers such as England and the US and, instead of declaring some sort of truce with the Russians they did nothing and were massacred mercilessly for it. In Dec 1939 in one day Stalin got rid of the Polish currency - anyone who had wealth in the Polish currency lost it in one day. He took over the banks and people's property and the media and promoted Soviet Communist political propaganda. Read about the Katyn massacre on wikipedia - its sickening what the Soviets did.

Then, at the end of WWII when the Allies realized they had to stop Hitler and finally involved themselves, the Yalta conference happened. In the build up to this conference, Stalin had been steadily increasing the presence of Communists who would support him (inside Poland). At Yalta he promised Churchill and FDR that he would hold free elections in Poland if they split up Europe such as to give him Poland and they naively BELIEVED him. Then Poland was turned over to the Soviets - Polish men who had been fighting on the side of the Allies got royally screwed when the were sent back to Poland - many political and military men were murdered by the Russians on their return to Poland. This is in 1945. Polish concentration camp prisoners were returned to Poland from abroad - to a now Communist country. Stalin never held free elections and instead installed those loyal to the Communists, both Polish and Russians, into positions of power. He deported hundreds of thousands of Poles to Soviet concentration camps after the end of WWII. Polish people had no political freedom and now they were poor.

There began an underground resistance movement - a workers movement - and leadership in this movement included Pope John Paul II and many of those who died in the plane crash. From the 50s to the 80s this movement gre stronger and as you know Poland was instrumental in the eventual fall of Communism and the breakup of the former Soviet Union.

Poland is the darling of the European Union is considered the strongest example of what the Eastern European economies are capable.

Today there is prosperity in Poland and one Pole told me in January that it was the "new America" as many shining new shopping centers are being built - Warsaw is a very modern and shining example for business. Polish people are less likely to go abroad for work as the currency is 3:1 with the Euro (they are not in a hurry to get on the Euro b/c they don't want the prices to rise) and now in Poland you can the same cars and other consumer goods as in the West.

What I think the pain comes from for the Polish people in this crash is a loss of leaders who brought freedom to the Poles through resistence, defiance and passion against the Russians. Until Saturday they were alive to educate the younger generations, tell their stories and push for recognition of the atrocities against Poles that have been ignored and covered up. The President was a vocal critic of Putin and he wasn't even invited to the official Katyn memorial ceremony. This event was a few days after the one Putin attended. Putin was furious with him because he was getting missiles from the US that would be pointed at Russia. The EU wasn't super thrilled either.

Finally these people who died on Saturday had begun to lead Poland into a bright and prosperous future.

As far as the political situation, all things point to the strength of Poland's democracy and the peaceful transition of power/elections and continuation of business as usual. No reason to think the political situation in Hungary would be affected. Though, as my uncle says, "Hungary and Poland are like brothers."

Finally, the Polish are deeply grieving this loss but they have been through so much that this is not an insurmountable set back. The Polish will grieve but they are extremely tough. Skin like an alligators. They recognize that all is not lost, they loved these leaders and appreciate what these leaders did for Poland - but they know that Poland will be okay and even see that perhaps this an opportunity for light to be shed on the circumstances of the Katyn massacre and that, in and of itself, is a victory for them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Me So Retarded

I'm going to declare April 15 "Be nice to foreigners" day.

What I want you to do, Dear Reader, is go outside to the streets of your town, take the first foreigner you meet and hug them with reckless abandon! Give them money, tell them how pretty they are. Give them a Greencard! If they are in your likeness, lend them your passport! Ask them what their favorite color is. Bake them cookies. Hold open a door for them - maybe pull out the chair for them when they go to sit down. Whatever you do, you must find an alien upon which you can bestow some kindness.

Tell them what an idiot you are for not knowing anything about their culture! Make many self-deprecating jokes explaining how dumb and stupid you are and how great and wonderful they are. Tell them they have achieved much! And that they speak [insert local language] very very well. Mistake them for a member of your nationality.

One note on the hugging, depending on where they are from, they might not actually like to be hugged. Don't pet them on the head if they are Asian.

You must make this a completely random act of kindness. You must ask for nothing in return.

Tell them that you feel lucky to know them. Tell they are fearless to leave their homeland where they know how everything works, know all the vocabulary of daily life and the cultural norms - to go somewhere else where all the rules are completely different. Tell them how adventuresome and strong they are for going somewhere they can't follow the local news, don't know the local holidays, don't know the local transportation ins and outs and don't have a clue where to buy a flour sifter, or even what it's called.

At this point, it's only fair to tell you that I have been feeling a wee bit retarded lately. Simple things like sending a package, buying a curtain rod and setting up a phone are noooooootttt sssssoooo ssssssiiiiiimmmmmppppllllleeeee when you don't know the local language, don't know the names of any 'do it yourself' stores and make assumptions like, if you can drop off and overnight a package at a Fedex location in the US, you must be able to do it in Germany too, right?

NO! YOU ROARING IDIOT!! You cannot drop off a Fedex package in the same way!

In Munich at least, Fedex doesn't have ANY drop-off boxes. Why is this? I'd like to think it's because of bomb threats.

Anyway, it was so painful to schedule a pick-up for Fedex ... I'm not sure I have the energy to explain it... needless to say after phone calls to both the German and the US customer service numbers, and one scheduled pick up at the apartment in which Fedex never actually came, and not having a printer and needing my husband to print things out at work so I could send them the next day, and having to reschedule a second pick up at the last minute from my husband's office - which required a near sprint from my home - since I needed new documents printed out and needed to overnight the damn thing ...

... after all of that, the *&(*& secretary at my husband's office got pissy with me because I didn't tell her that I was having Fedex come pick up a package - for which she had to do NOTHING. She just had to sit on her prim, passive-aggressive little German ass and do NOTHING except cluck and purse her lips and teach me a lesson in how rude I was to her ... PULEASE. As if she knows the definition of consideration or rudeness.

Next, maybe I'll teach her what rude is, but until then, I am working on not being a retard.

Today I am trying to buy a shower curtain rod.

Here are the questions I have:

1. How do you say shower curtain rod in German?
2. How long is the shower curtain rod I need?
3. Why don't we have a measuring tape in this rental where I've been living for 5 days?
4. What are the names of stores in Munich where I can buy a shower curtain rod?
5. On what website geared toward expats would I be able to ask other expats what the names of stores in Munich are where I can buy a shower curtain rod?
6. Where are these stores located that have shower curtain rods in the length that is approximately 1.5 times my silver neck scarf?
7. When I plug the six different addresses of the store into Google, which of them will be the closest to the starting point?
7a. What is the zip code of my new apartment again?
7ai. Why isn't my mom picking up the phone? It's only 8am her time.
7b. When I press the tiny paper map I have of the city over the Google maps on my laptop screen, will the result be accurate enough for me to actually know which tram, or bus, or Ubahn stop to go to?
7c. Why doesn't the website of the self help store have an English version?
7d. Why doesn't the help me please store have any results when I type in Klemmvorhangstange?
8. Why don't I have a car, or better yet, a car and driver who knows where do it yourself stores are located, knows that I might be able to say "Duschvorhang' for shower curtain, and is willing to drive me there at a moment's notice and give me a valium? For the same rate I would pay for the Ubahn?
8a. I'm not sure I will ever be able to get over saying 'I am going to "Dusch - en" ' when I really am just taking a shower.
9. Why did I schedule anything else for today and how is that I'm sitting inside, un-showered and in my pj's on such a beautiful day?
9a. Am I sure that there wasn't some crack or meth in my Darjeeling with a splash of 1.5% milk?
10. How am I ever going to do all of this in Budapest where I'm pretty sure life is like a million times less convenient than in Boston? Oops. I mean Munich. I live in Munich right now.
10. Why do people think housewives are lazy?
11. Do we really need a shower curtain?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Goodbye Worldfocus...

It likely comes as no surprise that I am interested in World Affairs. I learned about the world of international news after spending 11 months in Paris for my junior year abroad in 1998. It will also not surprise you when I say that it really opened my eyes. I won't beat this dead horse of a point because those of you who get it, get it. Those of you who don't probably won't be persuaded by my insistence that it is important to understand what is happening in the world politically, economically and socially.

When I returned to the US after that year in France, the way I found out about international happenings was to go to or to US news provided no comparable coverage.

It saddened me that as an American, in a country where we brag that you can have anything, I couldn't get free access to international news.

But, if you're anything like me and you care about what is going on in the rest of the world, you learn very early, kind of like an abused spouse or child, that all of your pleadings aren't going to change the fundamental nature of the beast, and you find a way to have your needs met and keep going.

So, nearly 12 years later, when Worldfocus, a produced show, popped up in my life (frankly I don't remember exactly how) I was really shocked - and happy!

"Wow," I thought, "after all that has happened in the past decade, with 9/11 and the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we are making progress in America! We finally have the critical mass of those interested in the world outside our borders to get a show like this on the air."

Over the past year, I didn't watch Worldfocus on TV, at first because I was too busy to be in the same place at the same time every night. Later, we moved to Munich and I couldn't get access to it from here. I consumed my Worldfocus "programming" primarily through links from their Facebook page. And it was like ambrosia. My favorite feature was the video clips, maybe 3 minutes, maybe longer, where an expert was interviewed by a World Focus staff member. I also remember stories of Poland, the 70th anniversary of WWII, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, coverage of China and its leadership's increasing assertiveness, and the economy and scores and scores and scores of other thoughtful stories.

The only well known show I can compare Worldfocus' reporting to is Amanpour on CNN. I think Amanpour aims to be a little bit sexier and controversial than World Focus by bringing in a few experts at once who disagree with one another. The on air arguments get my blood pumping all the time.

What the two shows do share is rigorous questioning and the defense of logic. If an expert guest on either show tries to spew rhetoric, they wind up looking ridiculous. The hosts of both programs are too smart for that. They will jump right into the fuzzy logic or poor arguments and force the guest to give a more solid and credible answer. I guess this is boring for some people.

So, for a time, my world news consumption was sandwiched between the more widely known 30 minute daily program of CNN's Amanpour and the online video updates from WNET's Worldfocus. Toss in the occasional Google news search on whatever topic and there you would find my happy place. Too good to be true really.

A few days ago, I learned that World Focus was being cancelled. Saw it in my FB feed.

Our World Focus broadcast will go off the air after April 2

"What? This can't be." I blinked, clicked on the link that took me to their page. Yup, there it was in writing.

Because of fundraising difficulties, Worldfocus will be going off the air after the April 2 broadcast.
During our nearly 18 months in production, we’ve sought to inform viewers about life around the world — as we said in our very first broadcast, to give you a better idea how the other 6.5 billion live.
Anchor Daljit Dhaliwal explains our decision to go off the air and thanks our many partners, experts and viewers.

Apparently, the story had caught the attention of the New York Times in the March 22, 2010 article As ‘Worldfocus’ Ends, a Call to Save It.

But, I was too late for that. I had only learned of all of this on Thursday, April 1, 2010, the day before the show was scheduled to go off the air. I read through the various reader comments, the explanation by the show itself, the comments by the WNET spokesperson. I dropped some comments here and there along with thousands of other commenters, including pleas for the option to donate. But, in the end, the cancelation just looked inevitable.

Martin Savidge in the Worldfocus studio.

And today, it is so. The hosts and the producers from the show are saying goodbye. I am sure I wasn't the only one who hoped for a white knight to swoop in and save the show. I am still puzzled by why this happened. Was it really just a question of money? Conspiracy theories are tempting of course. How could a show that garnered some 300,000 loyal supporters in 18 months go off the air? Did someone, some other corporation, put the pressure on WNET to cancel? The truth is, I don't know enough about the media industry, or anything about the financial circumstances of WNET or PBS, thus, I can't say if 300,000 is enough or not.

It appears not.

I blogged about this today because if I didn't I was just going to cry in pathetic isolation. I read a post by one saddened World Focus supporter who said they weren't going to give any money to PBS until the show was back on the air. Another said that all was gloom and doom because this was evidence of "what is happening in America" and that people were sinking further and further into ignorance.

I hope what happened yesterday was only the first chapter. I hope that I was right, that we finally did have a critical mass of Americans interested enough in a show like this, to get it on the air for 18 months. Maybe this is just a hiccup and another show like this will rise to the challenge of delivering balanced international reporting very soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goddamn philosophy

When my house burned down and I failed out of law school, I think the biggest source of pain was not the material losses, but the lack of a sufficient philosophical framework in which to explain what happened.

Karma didn't do it for me - The implication would be, so, my house burned down because of something I did in a past life?

Original sin didn't do for me - like, I'm inherently bad, therefore I deserve the bad things that happen me (fuck off btw whoever came up with this one)

God only challenges the one he loves - that didn't do it for me because, well, it's stupid.

Things happen for a reason didn't do it for me - again, fuck off. I'm convinced you only say this if you've only gone through moderately bad stuff - like, would a woman who has been raped be like, "Oh yeah, I'm sure there was a good reason for that." Please. And again, fuck off whoever invented this.

And so the list of stupidisms goes on. 

Until I found the book, "When bad things happen to good people." Rabbi Harold Kushner is forced to examine all of these philosophies because his son died of a rare disorder, Progeria, and frankly, they didn't work for him either. And, btw, thank you so much to Harold Kushner for questioning the doctrine his entire society and religious community was schooled in. We need more people like him.

But now about this friggin' book I'm writing about the Holocaust. I am still looking for answers to questions regarding "why".    I know, I know ... who isn't?

Unfortunately, "bad things happen to good people" may serve to help me with the small one off shitty ass parts of life - but it so does not help me get the behavior of jillions of people, not limited to the Nazis, who all did their little bit of evil, or indifference, or self-protection, to culminate in the killing of 11 million of their own in less than 10 years.

But seriously - why? And don't give me some mumbo jumbo about pure anti-semitism because while that NO DOUBT played a role, there were MILLIONS of non-Jews that also died. (The estimate is that about 5 million Gypsies, Poles, Russians, Slavs and others died - in addition to 6 million Jews - according to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at U. of Wisconsin). Anti-semitism may describe one of the prejudices that the Nazis held - but that's just it. It only describes one prejudice - they had others.

And, I don't even really think this prejudice alone was enough. Right - I hear you Dear Reader - you're maybe telling me that the economy sucked, too, or that Hitler was power hungry - and those things are true - but, even combined, they do not satisfy me. 

They still don't explain the behavior of the people.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dear Russian people,

who keep posting links to sex cites in the comments section of my blog, 

please stop. I'm not going to publish them.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

How did today go from great to suck?

As you may have noticed today started out great - I thought of book title - that is kind of a big deal no?

And, I kind of like that last blog post - pretty good for first thing in the morning sans coffee. But the rest of the day? It sucked big time! real big time!

All it took was two emails. Two negative emails and a stomachache. Deepak Chopra is all about the power of positive thinking ...

Today is one of those days when I feel like I want to completely retract from society.  A day when I feel completely and totally misunderstood. Just makes me want to be a dirty, ugly, stinky writer misanthrope with half drunk cups off coffee laying around and no social commitments or judgment from others to infect my brain and drive me batty. But, I have my marriage to think about and so that just changes it all doesn't it?

Hitler and my pants

It 7 am and I can't find my pants.

I stand there, in Tshirt, scantily-clad bottom and barefeet on the cold parquet floor. Bleary eyed and blinking in the morning sun, it has just crashed upon me like a thunderous and awesome tsunami. That's why I've jumped out of bed, something I've rarely been known to do.

"Thanks, Hitler" I'll call it. That's it, the book title, "Thanks, Hitler" - it opens up whole new pathways in how I can express my voice and this story.

I find my black velvet pajama pants and dark-rimmed glasses and run off to tell my husband who is already up.

And he hates it. "Sure if you want your book to be totally sarcastic," he says.


"Well, I'm writing it down anyway. It's only the second day of this class."

We'll see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It may be confusing....

to you Dear Reader, to follow the story of my grandparents and my research about them. My apologies for that. I am not posting a complete story of what has taken place in terms of my research process.

Partly, I'm paranoid that if I put too much information on the web, it will cease to be mine. 

Anyway, the latest development came over Christmas. It seems initial information about where my grandmother was a prisoner was not correct. We thought it was Dachau. In fact she was first in Ravensbrück

Today, reading the site, I have found that the memorial site for this camp for women was opened on my birthday (albeit 20 years before I was born)...