Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 to a working-class family in New York City. Her father, William, was an alcoholic who left the family when Bacall was six; Bacall and her mother later changed their last name to her grandmother’s maiden name, Bacal, and added the second “l.”
Enthralled by the theater from an early age, Bacall started working in high school as an usher, and then performed in plays both on and off Broadway. However, it was her work as a model, and in particular her appearance on a Harper’s Bazaar cover in 1943, that caught the eye of Nancy Hawks, wife of Howard Hawks, a powerful Hollywood director. At Nancy’s encouragement, Hawks gave Bacall a screen test. Hawks then brought her to Hollywood, taught her to speak in a lower register and convinced her to take the first name Lauren to deemphasize her Jewish heritage. For that reason, Bacall had never been entirely comfortable with the name the world knows her by.
I remember as a small one, my mother, was very devoted to the Holocaust and the cataclysmic treatment of the Jewish Peoples. Watching movies such as ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ and both of us gazing through tear stained eyes as we both were disheartened by the tribulation….
My mother also played the accordion. It had the most beautiful inlays of Mother of Pearl and keys. I remember climbing into the case while she played various polkas, klezmers and such.
Between 1945 and 1951, the United States and Great Britain ruled occupation zones in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Czechoslovakia, which housed more than a million displaced persons (DPs), including 250,000 Jews, in late 1945. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and various private relief agencies assisted the Western Allied powers in meeting this enormous challenge. Until September 1945, Jewish and non-Jewish DPs lived together in the same camps, which sometimes required Jewish Holocaust survivors to reside with former perpetrators or with other non-Jews. Jewish DPs, many of whom felt unsafe, protested these living conditions, as well as harsh treatment by US military personnel and searches for contraband conducted by German police.
It has taken me several days to write this piece. I almost didn’t do it.
This time in history is very close to my heart. As long as my mother was alive, we learned of this horrible act of humanity.
There is a message here somewhere……..
Lauren Bacall had to change her name to ‘fit in’ to society.
With Hugs and Hope
Lauren Bacall -biography.com