Skip to content

ASSAULT AND SURVIVAL ACROSS THE FORESTS OF WWII EUROPE

Posts by Johannah Knudson

Rewriting History

Institutions are inherently resistant to change. They may attempt to bury or rewrite the truth. They blame the victim, pressuring them to just get over it. They accuse victims of being overly emotional, inaccurate, malicious, uncivilized, violent, or liars. Institutions may perform efforts toward justice and ultimately kill them with inaction or through drawn-out processes of bureaucracy.

Read More

What My Son Learned at School: Antisemitism Comes Home

Rosa Moldovan, my great grandmother, teaches my aunt, Erika Goldberger, at home on a chalk board. Jewish students were barred from school during the Nazi regime.

The alarm has been sounding for a long time. And now, it won’t give me a moment’s peace. It sounds like dirty Jew and fucking Jew and kill all Jews. I hear my son sobbing, why does everybody hate me. I see the spider arms of a swastika, black on blood red. I hear, this isn’t going to go away no matter what we do. These words circle in my head. And the longer they do, the more determined I become to stop what I’ve been told will happen again, to stand up every time I’m told to sit down.

Read More

Grief and Celebration

Right now, we—or at least, I—need the gleaming memory of the First Czechoslovak Republic, a democracy founded and led by an idealistic, intelligent, and remarkably good human being. His power came from conviction, idealism, and, yes, love—the most enduring power there is.

Read More

Dedicated to Toronto

Moments ago, I was about to sit down to write another installment about my trip to Toronto in February. But first, I checked the news. Only a few hours ago, a white van jumped the curb and struck a number of pedestrians near Yonge and Finch, in north Toronto. They don’t know yet how many…

Read More

Meeting Magocsi

Elation is the best word to describe my discovery of my great Uncle Stefan’s connection with renowned scholar Paul Robert Magocsi. I recently met Professor Magocsi at the University of Toronto. Learn more in my latest blog post about our conversation and about the biography I’m writing about Stefan, an epic of escape and survival before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Read More

Constant Vigilance

Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These are my handsome great uncles in 1951 Vienna with their 1934 BMW. Seven years earlier, they hid in holes in the ground left by uprooted trees while Nazis searched for them with bloodhounds.   The Nazis had put a bounty on both of their heads, determined to capture…

Read More

“Truth Prevails” and Other Exotic Ideals

My great uncle Stefan Moldovan was born into nascent Czechoslovakia, a democracy founded on high ideals by a leader, T.G. Masaryk, known for his integrity, intelligence, and ethics. His country’s motto, “Truth Prevails,” reveals much about his aspirations for his nation and humanity as a whole. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh Two agreements key to the formation…

Read More
Scroll To Top