Thoughts And Ideas
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Thoughts And Ideas

Nazis Murdered Her Parents.

Now, her close friend is a Nazi’s daughter.

Hanna (left) and Verena (right) at the Judische Friedhof in Gemünd | Photo by Ryan Thurman

Hitler’s Nazi Regime murdered Markus and Amelie Zack in 1942.

Left: Framed photos of Hanna’s mother and father | Right: Hanna in her dirndl dress | Photos used with Hanna’s permission

Markus and Amalie knew they needed to act fast to protect their little Hannelore.

Hanna’s parents had saved her life.

Left: Hanna’s Identification Card at Köln Hauptbahnhof | Photo by Hanna Miley | Right: Hanna’s Visa | Photo used with Hanna’s permission
Hanna Zack Miley | Photo by Ryan Thurman

It wasn’t always this way.

Hanna spent a significant portion of her life with the particularly searing anguish of one whose homeland, language, and parents had been ripped away.

From that point forward, Hanna has experienced a gradual yet profound process of restoration.

Hanna embarked on a pilgrimage to retrace her parents' steps.

Verena Lang at the Jewish Cemetery in Gemünd | Photo by Ryan Thurman

While she was singing the words “do this in remembrance of me,” it was as if God shot an arrow into her heart.⁶

She wrestled for a decade before deciding to forgive her father.⁷

What would forgiveness look like in the places of her deepest pain? Could healing balm be applied to these old and gaping wounds?

Hanna’s meticulous research uncovered the distressing details of her parents’ final months and days.

Hanna and her traveling companions praying in a cattle car in Łódź, Poland | Photo by Ryan Thurman

Now, the moment had come for Hanna to join her parents in Chelmno.

At that moment, by the gate, Verena began to weep on behalf of her father, a Nazi. Tears of anguish and repentance spilled out from the depths of her soul.

Hanna, Verena, and their supportive friends at the Chelmno Gate | Photo by Ryan Thurman

Hanna’s pilgrimage required yet another monumental step.

Now, in the forest outside Chelmno, as the rain fell — and as Heaven wept — Hanna could feel just how much her parents loved her.

Left: Altar in the Rzuchowski Forest | Right: Hanna’s husband George leading the burial service | Photos by Ryan Thurman

These golden threads of forgiveness, healing, and hope have continued to weave throughout Hanna’s life.

Hanna kneeling at the Stolpersteine in front of the former Zack family home | Photos by Ryan Thurman

Hanna embraced him with heartfelt forgiveness and love.

“You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you.”¹⁶

Left: Markus & Amelie’s Memorial Stone | Right: Hanna and Verena at the Jewish Cemetery in Gemünd | Photos by Ryan Thurman
Learn more about Hanna by visiting her vibrant Instagram, 
and Quellen: Sources for Restoration, the organization she founded with her husband George.
Hanna’s Memoir in both English and German
References: 1. A Garland for Ashes: World War II, the Holocaust, and One Jewish Survivor’s Long Journey to Forgiveness written by Hanna Miley2. Kristallnacht | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum3. Refugees | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum4. Kindertransport | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum5. A Garland for Ashes | Chapter 11 | By Hanna Miley6. Verena and Hanna's Story of Reconciliation | Wittenberg 2017 | Youtube.com7. Verena's Story | www.wittenberg2017.us8. Luke 6:27-28 | English Standard Version Bible9. A Garland for Ashes | Chapter 12 | By Hanna Miley10. Chelmno | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum11. A Garland for Ashes | Chapter 19 | By Hanna Miley12. A Garland for Ashes | Chapter 21 | By Hanna Miley13. Stolpersteine | Artist Gunter Demnig14. Maturing Toward Wholeness in the Inner Life | Chapter 1 | By George Miley15. Documenting Numbers of Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum16. Isaiah 43:4 | English Standard Version Bible



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Amber Hunter

Sonoran Desert Dweller | Storyteller here at Medium | Songwriter at | Twin Mama | Spiritual Director | I write to grow.