This week the Year 10 Certificate III in Christian Studies students heard from author, Sara Rena Vidal . Mrs Vidal shared her family's story of survival during the Holocaust.
The students are currently completing a unit about the Foundations of Christian Faith - namely the Gospel. Their final task explores this in depth. One of the options for their final task requires them to identify a period in history and then explore how people responded both positively and negatively to the Christian faith. The students have been focusing on World War II and the Holocaust, and have been looking at the stories of Corrie ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as two Christian examples.
Named after her two Polish grandmothers, Sara and Rena, Mrs Vidal was born in a refugee camp in Italy in late 1945, at the age of three she came to Australia with her parents on a migrant ship named The Continental. This ship had more than 300 passengers - there were British, Greek, Polish, Italian, Swiss, Latvian, French, Albanian, and Stateless people. Australia made them welcome and her childhood, abundant with friends and relatives, picnics, fun and ice-cream, was happy. But something was missing. When she was only six she asked her mother why she didn’t have grandmothers; over time the stories of her lost home and of her parents’ survival of the Holocaust were revealed.
Mrs Vidal says “Throughout my childhood the story she imparted was my special secret. But 25 years ago I realised that it was important for me to tell their story and so began a project that has taken me a very long time to complete.” The result is the book entitled “Bella and Chaim – The Story of Beauty and Life”, and is a testament to the human spirit. Mrs Vidal’s parents Bella and Chaim hid for eighteen months during World War II in hole under the backyard workroom of a retired Polish policeman in a suburb of occupied Warsaw. In the claustrophobic dark, they waited while outside a world war raged.
“Bella and Chaim – The Story of Beauty and Life” goes on sale in August 2017 and a copy of the book will be donated to BalCC. If you are interested in learning more about the book head to: https://pozible.com/project/telling-the-story-of-beauty-life-1