Thursday, May 27, 2010

28.9.1913-11.5.2010 A loss of a very dear person

Before I start, I want to thank Omer for his patience and proofreading of this long story I would like to share with you about my grandma. This is the reason why I haven’t blogged for so long. I promised myself not to publish anything in the blog, till I finish to write some words about grandma. It took me much longer then I thought (4 months!), but that is the least I could do for remembering her better.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to offer to my very dear grandma the Field Poppy Brooch I knitted for her a few months ago, when still alive.
My grandma was one of the most unique persons I had ever known. She has greatly influenced the person I have become. Though she was already no longer with us, I insisted to accompany her back to earth. She was buried at the Parisian cemetery of Bagneux, Avenue des pommiers en fleurs (Avenue of the flowering apple trees!). I wanted this poppy to be with her wherever she goes, so I posed it on her coffin.I have so many things to tell about her. It's hard to reflect it through text, but I’ll still try to transmit something about her for sharing her memory. My grandma wished us, her grandchildren, to call her in her nick name Ginette (derived from Genevieve) and not “grandma”. I think she felt that it keeps her young forever.

Ginette’s father was a military physician, who liked outdoor activities as horseback riding and ski, named Dr. Robert Bloch.
Ginette’s father, Dr. Robert Bloch
Dr. Robert Bloch
In 1913, Robert was recruited as a physician in the unit of the Alpine hunters Chasseurs Alpins (which are the elite mountain infantry of the French Army). At the age of 32, he met in Bayonne the young 18 years old girl – Adrienne. Unfortunately, I don’t know the circumstances of their meeting, but all I have heard is that they married in Bayonne soon after. My mom has all the letters they use to send each other as Fiancées, but I need to catch her to hear from her their stories. Adrienne Reine Noemie, Ginette's mother, was the daughter of Jane Alvarez-Pereyre (renamed as Marenne Rosenthal) and Dr. Maurice Rosenthal (Mordko). She learnt at the "Notre-Dame du Rosaire" school with the nuns. Since she was Jewish, the nuns were respecting this and released the Jewish girls from the Christian Catholicism lessons.
Adrienne loved music and had the chance to teach my mother music basics. At the end of mom's music notebook, Adrienne wrote down some liturgical songs she knew from her mother, Jane Alvarez-Pereyre. These Jewish songs came from the Jewish Anusim in Portugal (that were forced to abandon the Judaism). The Alvarez-Pereyre were also Portuguese Anusim who traveled to England and from there arrived in the middle of the 18th century to south of France, to Bayonne and Bordeaux cities.
Adrienne was very strong in humanities. She knew lots of phrases and all of the "Fables de la Fontaine" by heart. She also loved to play the Bridge card game as did later her daughter Ginette.

Adrienne Bloch
Adrienne Bloch,1941
Ginette's maternal grandfather, Dr. Maurice Rosenthal
Dr. Maurice Rosenthal
Back to 1913, since Robert was away, Adrienne came back from Grenoble to Bayonne. She gave birth to Ginette in one of her father’s apartments on the floor and thus grandma was born on the 28th of September 1913 in the quarter of St Esprit in the city of Bayonne (France). During World War I, Adrienne lived in Bayonne with her father, Dr. Maurice Rosenthal. Ginette was the first child out of three, fully named as Genevieve Caroline Judith Bloch. 66 years later, I was named after her as Judith. If you wonder about this name origin, then Judith is an ancient Jewish heroine that killed Holofernes, allowing Israel to counter-attack the Assyrians around 650 BCE.

Ginette with her brother Francis (~1919)
Ginette with her brothers, Michel-Gabriel from the left and Francis from the right
Grandma had 2 other younger brothers: Francis and Michel-Gabriel ("Michel mon frere"). Francis was also born in Bayonne, on the 24 of November 1916, at the Boulevard Alsace-Lorraine, upstairs of a coffee shop. He was hospitalized on the same day on which Ginette was and passed away in July 2010, 2 months after grandma. Michel-Gabriel, born in 1919, passed away much earlier, already in 1961, at the age of 42. He is apparently buried in Marseille. Francis was the beloved son of his mother Adrienne. Both Ginette and her brother Michel-Gabriel suffered from their discriminating mother. According to the family stories, Michel-Gabriel was the shame of his mother as compared to her other son Francis, the “successful one”. Therefore, Michel-Gabriel was sent to Marseille to be “hidden” with the priests, to take care of their garden (although he was Jewish…). Mom says he was a simple, very sweet and gentle person, always doing favors to others and loved to help. Michel-Gabriel was a quiet submissive person. One day when Ginette was a child, she was riding with her father on a bicycle to her summer camp. Crossing on their way, they noticed Michel-Gabriel poorly sitting in some corner. Robert came to him and checked what had happened to discover that he had broken his arm and wouldn’t dare complaining. During the 2nd World War, Michel-Gabriel lived in a balcony of Boulevard Baudin in Alger. Family tells he had difficulties finding a stable job. One day, Ginette’s four kids joined Francis in a hotel in Geneve for holidays. Adrienne asked that Michel-Gabriel will not join, ashame of his appearance. I think that only to piss her off, they took him too along with them. He finally died from a breakage of the “rocher” (a part of the skull where there is a hollow for the ear structure), hyperthyroïdy, hypercholestérolémy and then a heart attack. According to Pierrette, my aunt, he was apparently hit where he worked and subsequently died from a heart attack. Pierrette says that he was often finding himself fighting someone. Adrienne (Granni) lived in Nice at the same time and didn’t tell the family about the death of her son Michel-Gabriel.
At the age of 10, in 1923, Grandma took primary school in Nancy. On the same year her father, Dr. Robert Bloch, was posted by the army in the city of Taza (“bled” haut – bas, Morocco) and along came the family. Thanks to her talent, she jumped there one grade. After a while, the family moved to the big city of Casablanca.
Following the death of the maternal grandmother, Jane Rosenthal, in 1923, the family came back to Nancy and stayed there for several months.
They then moved to Dijon. Ginette shared her father with her doubts as for passing her exams “Je ne suis pas sure de l'avoir”. Then her father exclaimed: “There are no 2 options, but passing only!” “Quand on passe un examen on doit l’avoir! C’est comme ca!” Grandma attended high school in Dijon (1924-1930) and successfully completed 2 matriculation exams in Mathematics-Physics and Philosophy, while playing on the cello in her free time.

Ginette at Dijon high-school (Lycee de Jeunes Filles, 1928-1930)
Ginette in Arcachon, 1929
Ginette, student in Strasbourg, 27 February 1933
Ginette with her cello and her musician friends
By that time, her father has been reposted in Colmar. 
After high school graduation, Ginette moved to Strasbourg and attended a 2 year degree of General Chemistry (Mineral and Organic, 1930-1931), then another 2 year degree of General Physics (1932-1933) and one more year of General Botanics (Science instruction, 1934). In Botanics, she took a course with Prof. Maresquelle H.J, an expert on crown galls. This course will serve her a year later to pass an important exam. One day in the late nineties, grandma took me to one of the pine forests in south-western France. There, I have noticed a series of extremely beautiful and interesting galls on an Oak tree. They were all in different sizes. It was similar to the shape of the Pyrenean Oak "Apple" Galls 

I didn’t know what it was and grandma explained to me that these special plant tumours house some parasitic insects, such as wasps. Those insects develop inside the gall (which they have induced) and then drill a hole to emerge. I was fascinated! Still unclear exactly why, this observation has left a great impact on me. This was very exciting since I felt as if I discovered something new!

That day made me think that if I will not become an AstroPhysicist, then I will become a Plant science Researcher, an expert in galls. If still not as such, than an archaeologist or bible researcher. Eventually, I tried the Physics and it wasn’t for me. So I have studied Plant sciences in the Hebrew University and the Weizmann institute. The studies were fascinating, but lab work was not for me. Though the bible research and archaeology are very interesting, I don’t think I’ll turn to them in the future for higher studies, but who knows... 
The oak apple gall from the ninetees in South France
A close-up showing the oak apple gall with the hole drilled by the wasp (at the right)
A close-up on the apple gall-inducing wasp

While in Colmar, Dr. Robert Bloch caught a kidney disease from one of his soldier patients and died from a complication (Scarlet fever + Glomerulonephritis). He was buried in Bordeaux (France) where at the same time grandma’s maternal grandparents lived. In the Colmar Army hospital (Hôpital Louis Pasteur?) you can find a sign in honor of my great grand-father, Dr. Robert Bloch.
As previously mentioned, Ginette’s maternal grandparents were Marenne Rosenthal (previously named Jane Alvarez-Pereyre) and her husband Dr. Maurice Rosenthal, also nicknamed as “papapa” or Mordko. Dr.Maurice Rosenthal was born in 1863 in the Russian Attaki city of the Soroki district, now in Ukraine, near Kiev. He was buried during World War II by his Jewish son Sasha (also a physician), Adrienne’s brother, in the Christian church of DonneMarie (France), although being a pure atheist.

DonneMarie Church (France), picture taken by Tcherome at fr.wikipedia
Albeit the crisis following the loss of her father, grandma continued the second year of Botanics, this time in Bordeaux (1934), where she also studied Zoology (1935). Then one more year of Geology (1936), a field which have become of high interest to her years on, also in her last years. I was fortunate to get the last book that she was still turning the papers of. The book is about geology, fossils and mineralogy. Besides studying, Ginette liked to play the Tennis. When later she found herself married in Setif, she liked to play the Tennis with a gym teacher (Mr. Alain?) that used to say "avec la tete de Mme levy et les jambes de Mme Guibert, ce serait formidable" or in English “with the head of Mrs Levy and the legs of Mrs Guibert, it would have been perfect”.
Ginette playing Tennis, 1st at the right

Ginette playing Tennis, (Setif?)
Jane Alvarez-Pereire, Ginette’s grandma, or my great great grandmother, was born to Judith Fonseque and Alexandre-Daniel Capacite Alvarez-Pereyre. I remember Ginette telling about this nice grandma that bought her a bicycle when she was a child, which have made her so happy. Unfortunately, on the same day or so, the bicycle was lost or stolen. It reminds me of a similar story when grandma once bought me a magnificent Barbie Bride doll, when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was so excited and happy about it! However, I lost it on the same day in a Metro station of Paris and you can imagine how disappointed I was.
Alexandre-Daniel Capacite Alvarez-Pereire, Ginette’s great grandfather, had 2 unmarried sisters called Ernestine and Arisi, as well as one brother called Georges. Georges, who was a merchant, assisted at work by his sisters, married a girl called Castro.
Arisi and Ernestine Alvarez-Pereyre (that Ginette cutely called Arsinie et Leantine) dispossessed their property to their brother’s (Daniel-Alexandre) grandchildren and Adrienne got a building in Bayonne.
While planning to apply to the aggregation (high-level competitive examination for the recruitment of teachers), Ginette’s mother, Adrienne, was contacted by “Auntie Julie” for a “shiduch” (matchmaking). “Tante Julie” looked for “good family Jewish girls” in Strasbourg (France) for “good family Jewish boys” in Algeria. However, Ginette was no longer in the school where Julie happened to visit, since she caught a condition from eating bad quality meat, such as lung or spleen. The condition was the “Gout (also known as podagra when it involves the big toe) usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. It is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood which crystallize and are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues” (Wikipedia).

Tante Julie
Auntie Julie with her husband and son David & Robert Cain
Adrienne notified grandma about the "Shiduch" through "Auntie Julie with the violets crown on her hat" with my grandfather Edgard Levy.
Auntie Julie lived till about 100 years old and both Edgard as well as Ginette often used to help her. She left a very messy apartment with tones of papers.

Ginette’s husband, young Edgard in his twenties
Edgard, even younger, student in the Central school of engineers
Edgard in front of the bamboo bushes
Edgard, who passed away before my mom even got married, was an Engineer and inventor, an Ecole Centrale graduate. Among various other inventions, he invented a modern system for cleaning the harvested wheat directly from trucks in bags of 100kg. Mom, when living in Setif (Algeria), loved to haul these bags on her back...
Pierrette and mom used to go the farm during summer times. There was a lot of dust there, but they still loved it! They slept there and used a yard toilet with one hole, where they put lime to avoid the bad smell.
Mom sitting on wheat bags (1948/9?)
The young couple Ginette & Edgard as well as Edgard's niece Simone Becache (1936?)
Me wearing grandma’s fiancée dress from 1936
Grandma and Grandpa liked each other, got Fiancée and married within 3 weeks. I have in souvenir, grandma’s amazing blue silk satin fiancée dress that also fits me. Nevertheless, it is not anymore wearable because of some rust spots on it.
On the 28th of September 1936, exactly at the age of 23, grandma got married in her mother’s apartment in Bordeaux. Few days later, in October 1936, she moved with grandpa to Algeria, the French colony of North Africa, where they lived for 26 years. Ginette helped in the family farm business and raised their 4 children. She used to count the wheat bags in order to avoid their stealing. At that time, Algeria was a territory in dispute, because France apprehended this part of North Africa in 1830 and tried to embed land and population in its state. Nevertheless, beginning in the 1950s, some fanatic native Algerian Arabs (Fellagha) terrorized other Algerians and European settlers. Most of the family got evacuated by the French government back to France in 1962, just before Algeria got its independence. However, Edgar and Ginette stayed in Algeria for one more year after the independence and moved to France only in 1963! They left most of their belongings in Algeria. The reason Edgard stayed longer and even after the independence, was apparently since he felt responsible on the Jewish community and had a lot of paperwork to finish. When he wanted to take some pictures of the farm before leaving, the workers didn’t allow him.

Edgard’s mother and daughter, Blanche Levy and Jeanine, 1938
Ginette became a mother at the age of 24. Her first child was Jeanine, born on the 17th of July 1937 in Setif, while Ginette and Edgard were watching a movie at the cinema. It wasn’t expected that the birth will be in Setif, since they lived at that time in the capital city of Alger, but grandma gave birth to Jeanine where Edgard’s father (Charles) used to live.

All the three others, Pierrette, Claude and Martine were born in Alger.

Pierrette was born on the 10th of November 1938.

Claude was born on the 5th of December 1939.

Martine Blanche (my mom) was born on the 8th of May 1946 at the clinique of “Victor Hugo” in Alger. Since that same day was the holiday of “l’ armistice” at the city of Alger, celebrating one year for the end of World War II, Edgard could barely visit Ginette because of all the mess. All the same, mom always enjoyed the free day she had on her birthday in the following years.

Martine, my mom
During 2nd World War, Algeria was governed by the Vichy French government (the Nazi collaborating part of France). At that time, my aunt Jeanine, as a kid, as well as my mother’s cousins Simone and Jean-Paul, were forbidden to attend school, since this was a Marshal Pétain (Maréchal Pétain) anti Jewish law also applied in Algeria. However, my mother's cousin Michel was allowed to attend school since his maternal grandfather was killed during the 1st World War and his mother got a "pupille de la nation". Edgard’s family owned mills in Alger called “Les moulins de l’ Harrah” and a carob factory to produce powder for animal feeding (with about 50 employees). During World War II, the mills were confiscated from the family under Vichy’s law and where hired to the “Grand Moulins de Paris”. “ Antisemitic legislation in Vichy, initiated by the French government, was inspired by that of Nazi Germany. A General Commission on Jewish Questions was created in 1941 under the leadership of Xavier Vallat to carry out and enforce the regime's anti-Jewish laws. The first anti-Jewish law (Jewish Statute) was passed on October 3, 1940. It defined Jews residing on the French mainland (known as the “metropole” or “metropolitan France”) and in Algeria by race, based on the religion of their grandparents. In Algeria as in metropolitan France, Jews were forbidden to exercise any public functions: they could no longer work for the government, teach except in Jewish schools, serve in or work for the military, or even be employed by businesses with public contracts. Moreover, Jews were not allowed to participate in political activities. There were a few exceptions, mainly for Jewish war veteran”. (Holocaust Encyclopedia)

Census of the Jews in Algeria in 1940, formal document of Grandma
Portrait picture of Ginette (Algeria, 1942)
The Antisemitic General Henri Honoré Giraud sent Edgard and his brothers back home, from serving the French army. In 1943, Edgard and his brother Andre, members of the Free French army (lead by Charles de Gaulle), were sent to Tunisia, to fight against the Nazi occupation. Edgard was in the 2nd DB (Division Blindee) of the General Philippe Leclerc and Andre was in the Italian campagnia. Edgard was injured in the shoulder, during a truck accident and had to stay there, in Menzel Bouzelfa (Tunisia). Wounded with a crushed shoulder for several months, Edgard had a surgery and the doctors put him a prosthesis so he could function properly. Ginette took a train with her small son Claude and traveled about one month to visit Edgard.

The Jewish families in Mazel Bouzelfa warmly received my grandma and Claude. One of these families came one day to visit Ginette in Setif and had some unpleasant accident there. Soon after Ginette arrived to visit her husband, the three came back to Algeria. One day before Edgard came back to Setif, Pierrette who was at that time about 5 years old, fell on her forehead and opened it. All her surrounding prepared her not to jump on her father once she will see him back, to avoid hurting him. From a combatant, Edgard became a combat logistic supporter (apparently an ammunition officer) and he attended the military workshop. Pierrette recalls he used to build for them, his kids, a wooden Jip and other wood toys.

Lieutenant Edgard, 1941
(who later became "commandant de reserve")
They were living in Alger, on the 3rd floor of 8 Boulevard Baudin, one floor under Edgard’s parents’ apartment (Charles and Blanche Levy). The family used to communicate through the wooden stairs and they also had a special common box that Charles was opening when he wanted to play and talk with his nephews. Andre, Edgard’s brother, was also their neighbor and lived in 6 Boulevard Baudin.
The building where Ginette and Edgard lived had a tall front watching the harbor and the sea beyond. On the other side, the building merged with the hill.
A view from Andre's Balcony in Boulevard Baudin,on Alger Harbor (1950s)
Alger harbor, from a similar angle, painted by Simon Mondzain (1930s)
Ginette, Edgard and the kids Jeanine, Claude & Pierrette
In 1946, Edgard replaced his father Charles in Alger, while Charles went to the farms in Setif. That happened after my mom was born. When my mom was born in 1946, they moved to Setif, to 2 Rue du Gautier whereas the apartment in Alger remained for the summer holidays.
In 1946, Ginette, Edgard and their 4 kids went to visit Adrienne in Bordeaux (France). During a family stroll, my mom was in the baby cart. Somehow, the baby cart slipped and Pierrette immediately ran to catch it. For some very unclear reason, maybe just hysteria, Adrienne stroke two slaps on poor Pierrette’s cheeks. Adrienne had clear preferences among her children and grandchildren, which didn’t make an easy life for the ones that were not her preferences, including Ginette. Since then, Pierrette used to call her grandma Adrienne "Folecoche" (an expression coming from the author Hervé Bazin in his book "Vipère au poing", who called his mother that he hated "folcoche" (folle + coche) or crazy sow).

By the way, Adrienne was a great crocheter and I have some of the napkins that she crocheted as well as some of the amazing tiny crocheted lace she used to make. She passed away in 1980 while Ginette was holding me in her hands. 

At the age of 19 years old, Pierrette went to Paris with her father to attend the exam for engineering school. She was accepted to the Polytechnic Feminine school in 1958 and studied there. In the beginning, she lived with a mean woman that denounced her to the tax authorities for having a new radio receiver. Consequently, she decided to leave and Ginette & Edgard arranged her an apartment in Sceaux.

At the same time my mom was in Rouen, staying with her sister's Jeanine family.

In 1962, grandma and grandpa moved to Sceaux, a suburb of Paris, where hey lived there in a 3 room apartment at a building’s 4th floor.

A view from the 4th floor apartment in Sceaux (Pierrette at the right and Jeanine at the left) ~1958-~1962?
They brought with them the entire living-room from Algeria and later on, rented the apartment as a sublet to a Japanese couple. When the Japanese couple left, Ginette proposed mom to take the living-room. Mom said “why not?” :-) Dad could very much appreciate this living-room and it was even taken with us when we did our “Aliyah” to Israel. So actually, this living-room was produced in Strasbourg by family members of Edgard, brought to Algeria (just after the original house in Setif has completely burnt), then brought to Sceaux in France and ended up in Israel!

The living Room in Setif, Algeria
Talking about living-rooms, I remember grandma’s Silky Napoleon III reddish armchairs with golden bees as decoration. They were stolen from her, while some nasty people exploited her elderness, telling her they will fix the chairs... Anyway, when grandma had guests, I remember her living-room as a lively place, full of conversations and discussions.
Bad picture with a glance on the Napoleon III reddish armchairs
Edgard, born on 5th March 1905, died from a heart attack at the age of 60, on the 2nd of February 1966 when grandma was 53 years old. In order to make a living, Ginette had to teach in the well considered high schools of “Marie Curie” and “Lakanal” , at the city of Sceaux. There, she taught for 5 years as a “vacataire” (a substitute teacher without the up-to-date diploma) and then also in smaller high schools. She was a great, very appreciated and respected teacher. Ginette very much enjoyed teaching and travelling with her pupils. It was always very important to her to visualize as much as possible the fields that she were teaching: life sciences and geology.
Mom, that was at that time a physician student, showed Ginette her Embryology books, after years that Ginette didn't touch Biology material. Ginette was very interested and decided to give as part of her Life Sciences course, some sexual reproduction introductory lessons, with anatomical schemes. When the principle heard about that, he was quiet cross on her. However, he soon realized how revolutionary where these lessons and important to the pupils.
Ginette encouraged several vocations and had a great impact on several of her students, such as Dr. Daniel Lellouch, currently a Physicist researcher in the Weizmann Institute (Rehovot, Israel).
As an example for one of her lessons: yeast behavior, Ginette once asked her pupils to bring to school yeast and flour. She taught them how to make the Jewish Braided Challah. The school cooker baked all the pupils Challah and they all came back home with this "Jewish Bread" happy and smiling :-)
My mom and her older brother and sister were born in Alger with Dr.Leon Shebat at the Clinique of Victor Hugo. When Edgard started to feel bad, he was moved to the same “clinique Shebat”, which by then moved to Paris. He was unfortunately misdiagnosed for a heart attack and within few days in the Clinique, he passed away. Pierrette, who was very attached to her father, bought the vault/grave. Mom was just beginning her studies of medicine at that time and she was living with Pierrette in the 12th square of Paris, Place d' Aligre – close to university.

Mom got married on the 16th of March 1972 in Paris town council and on the 19th of March in the synagogue. 
After Edgard's death, there was a Voltmeter and Ampermeter factory that Edgard bought in France that Ginette had to take care of. She managed to upgrade it and sell it with the help of her brother in law, Andre.

Ginette & Edgard with their 1st nephiew, Bertrand (1962)
Ginette had 13 grandchildren (from Jeanine: Bertrand, Stephane, Tristan – from Pierrette: Alexandra, Maxime, Miranda – from Claude: Floriane, Berenice, Alexis– from Martine: Sabine, Severine, Judith, Noemie) and about 20 grand grandchildren.
Ginette portrait in her driving license of 1969 (56 years old)
Ginette loved driving and she drove till about the age of 84, I think, when she got an Herpes zoster in her eye. She was very attached to her driving license, strongly symbolizing her important independence.

Ginette loved Nature, Life Sciences, Botanics, trees and flowers, Geology, Palaeontology, Anthropology, travelling around the world, trying new food, reading, knitting and spending quality time with her grandchildren.

One of her travels was to China at the age of 75. She climbed the China wall, tried all kind of strange creatures served as food and got a beautiful rice cake for her 75th Birthday.
At the same summer, she also took part of a Setifian summer camp (for people that lived in Setif, Algeria). She did with her friends boat rowing and nothing could stop her :-)
Her friends there remained with a wide open mouth that she wasn't taking any medical drugs, as they all used to take. She almost didn't take any medical drugs till the age of 93!
Ginette had a good sense of humor and used to keep me often during summer times, when we had a great time together. I asked her several years ago what would she do if she had the opportunity of a new career and she answered she would love to be a professor of Anthropology or maybe Geology.

Itinerary of the cities where Ginette lived
Grandma was the kind of hard persons that you get very strongly attached to. She never complained about anything even when she didn't feel well. She has always been optimistic, trying to find the good out of the bad ("dans notre malheur on a de la chance"/ “in our bad luck we are lucky”) and was a very very strong person and personality. She loved life and left us at the age of 96 on 11th of May 2010, 3 days after mom’s 64th birthday. Ginette took care of her mother Adrienne till her very last day, in her apartment in Sceaux. I remember she told me she used to take her out to the Versailles Palace and Adrienne was very happy with that.
Pierrette, living quiet close to grandma, took care of Ginette till her very last day as well. Grandma biggest fear was to be put in an elderly citizens' home, while her true wish was to die at home. I admire Pierrette for all what she has done for grandma! I am really happy that her will was respected, even if it was not always easy for her surrounding. She spent the last 2 days in a hospital, suffering from nasty pressure sores, treated under morphine to try to relief her a bit. She went away few hrs after mom arrived to separate from her, while she was already in coma. It was as if she was expecting mom to arrive. When mom saw her, she cried and immediately said “Shma Israel”, telling me grandma looked like a cute sleepy little bird. I sent grandma a virtual present of some art piece I know she wanted to have:

This is Frank Meisler - Noah's Ark with Waves sculpture
(the picture comes from his website gallery)
Rest in peace grandma.
Nahal Mearot (North of Israel) 18.2.2005
Ginette opening her 90th birthday presents, 2003
Le jardins des plantes aux musee d'histoire naturelle, Paris, 2000
Masada, Israel (1973)
Jardin botanique de Bayonne, Bayonne, July 2006
In one of Bayonne's garden, July 2006
At the age of 93, Ginette holding a fossil in Amoudei Amram (South of Israel) 6.3.2006
A close up of the fossil in Amoudei Amram (South of Israel) 6.3.2006
Ginette in one of her favorite suits, near the Hortensia flowers that she loved so much,
Biarritz, July 2006