Tuesday, April 23, 2024

To hell and back

A daughter tells her mother’s Holocaust survival story

ABSAROKEE — Angie Osborne always knew four things about her mother’s life as a Jewish girl in Germany.
•Her mom was only 14-years-old when she was imprisoned in two different camps.
•In a train boxcar, on the way to one of those camps, a gypsy had read her mom’s palm and told her she was not going to die in the camps.
•She knew that in one camp, her mom cleaned the office of a German commander, who left a slice of bread for her in his top desk drawer.
•And she knew her mom had rescued herself by walking away from the camp to a farm at the end of the war and that she held a deep appreciation for that farmer’s generosity.
There was something else that Osborne knew. Despite living through the horrors of the Holocaust, her mother did not let it define her. Instead, Margit Chinkes grew stronger, found love, raised a family and made a truly happy home for herself, her husband and her children in the United States.
Initially intended to be a family history book for her three children and nine grandchildren, Osborne undertook the momentous task of researching her mom’s life through trips to Europe and Washington D.C. Five years in the making, Osborne’s book — “L’Chaim: Margit Chinkes Holocaust Survival Story” — was published on Mother’s Day, 2017, by Sweetgrass Books in Helena.
When she learned it could cost just a small amount more to have a total of 500 published, Osborne and her husband, Tom Osborne, decided to go with the bigger number. The response to the book has been what Osborne describes as “humbling.”
On July 11, the Big Yellow House in Absarokee will hold a book signing at 7 p.m.
Check back in next week’s issue of the News for a full article on Osborne and the book.