Lonely Chameleon is the memoir of Marion Weinzweig, one of the youngest living witnesses to the horrors of the Holocaust. Marion shares about her early life; an eye-witness testimony to being Jewish during WWII through the eyes of a small child who lived in constant fear, doing whatever possible to fit in and go unnoticed… a little, lonely chameleon.
About the Author
Born in Opatów, Poland in 1941, Marion Weinzweig is one of the youngest Jewish Holocaust survivors. When she was 18-months old her family sent her into hiding with a nearby Christian couple. She stayed with the couple for just a brief period of time, as neighbors grew suspicious and notified the Germans. The couple, fearing for their own lives, forced Marion to flee to a convent where she spent the next several years.
Homeless after the war, she lived with her father in German DP camps while fighting to get Visas to the "Goldena Medina" ("Land of Gold" in Yiddish)—America, albeit fruitless. Canada eventually welcomed them, and she and her father began a new life in Toronto with no understanding of the English language, no formal education, no possessions, and no money.
Marion slowly integrated into the Canadian way of life, lost her European accent and ended up thriving in school. She married at age 21 and had three children: Cindy, Mark and David, and her dream finally came true as she finally received her Visa to come to America in 1971.
For years, Marion had an insatiable desire to recapture her lost childhood. She searched relentlessly, hired investigators, and traipsed through Poland and Germany gathering bits of information about her early life. At age 60, her desire became a realization, as she was finally able to piece together most of the missing pieces.
It was also at this time that Marion "came out of the closet," so to speak. That is when she validated herself as a Holocaust survivor and made it her mission to share her story with as many people as possible in hopes of preventing history from repeating itself. She began speaking to schools, colleges, churches, synagogues, and various groups and organizations. Internationally, she has spoken in Germany, Israel, and Italy.
Marion loves the United States of America and has previously served for six years on the Commission on Judicial Conduct for the State of Arizona, has worked for the re-election of several U.S. Senators and a Presidential candidate. No stranger to risk and adventure, Marion has volunteered for the Israeli Army on a Medical Facility Base, bungee-jumped off the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand, and traveled extensively throughout the world.
She currently resides in Phoenix and enjoys spending time with her children and five grandchildren: Samantha, Jeremy, Simon, Hailey and Maya, as well as traveling, and playing tennis and bridge.
About the Book
Lonely Chameleon is a story of survival.
It is a story of genocide, tragedy, ruthless separations, unimaginable heartache, and, eventually, of triumph. It is the personal story of Marion Weinzweig, a young Jewish child caught up in the horrors of the Holocaust in 1940s Poland.
Marion's family life in her hometown of Apt was idyllic until the occupying Germans set into motion their relentless purge of Jews. We see through Marion's eyes, and the accounts of her few surviving relatives, the terror of families ripped apart as they were rounded up like cattle and transported to their deaths in concentration camps.
To save her life, Marion's parents sent her to live in hiding with a Christian couple. She became a "lonely chameleon," torn from her family, losing all connection with her Jewish heritage and struggling to blend inconspicuously into the non-Jewish world.
Her living circumstances kept changing, making her feel, as she terms it, "like an unloved, wild and scared animal." Despite bombings, days of terror and confusion, her ingenuity and determination got her through. Reunited with her father after Poland was liberated, Marion immigrated to Canada, and later moved to America.
Lonely Chameleon is a graphic, eye-opening, firsthand account of the inhumanity of the Holocaust. But it is more. It is a powerful message from a young Holocaust survivor to future generations to remain vigilant so such atrocities never happen again.
In Marion’s own words:
“My impetus for writing this memoir was very complex. Mainly I wanted to honor my loved ones and bring them to life, so to speak.
I wanted to write and share my story because I felt a need to educate all, but mainly young people, about the horrors of an inhumane society and to remind people that they must be vigilant. For many years before the Holocaust, Jews were somewhat secure, living their lives happily in Poland. Yet, in the blink of an eye, they were thrown into a nightmare of genocidal annihilation.
Today’s young people need to learn the truth about Germany back then. They need to understand what a civilized, educated society Germany was and yet realize how quickly the tides turned, making the Third Reich the most evil empire of the 20th century.
We cannot take anything for granted, especially when all seems to be copacetic, when countries and organizations appear to be properly run. Because it is then that citizens are the most vulnerable and can get crushed the hardest.
I want to leave people with this message: Be proactive! Learn about the inner workings of your government and the politicians who run for office. Always educate yourselves about all sides of the spectrum and above all else, please VOTE!
I need to reach people and teach them that they cannot be bystanders, that if they see something wrong going on in society or within their government, then they must take a
stand. Speak out against injustice even if it seems like nobody is listening. My greatest hope is that by sharing my story, I can help others come forward and speak up for what is right."
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