About the Invisible Tattoo

I grew up thinking my mother was “Tamar HaGingit,” the fiery redhead Tamar, from Israeli underground group Lehi, an acronym for Freedom Fighters for Israel, or Stern Group. That was partially true. What she failed to tell us when she was alive was that “Tamar” was an alias, her code name in the underground, and that her real name was Hela Hocherman, born in 1926 in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland, and sent to a camp called Gabersdorf in Czechoslovakia, annexed as Sudetenland, where she slaved away 4 1/2 years in a spinning factory, making thread from flax that was used to sew Nazi uniforms. Why did she conceal this fact, while constantly reminding us to “never forget?” In my search for her true identity, I uncovered many other family secrets, as well as a story of women’s slave labor, of sisterhood and life by a thread, of the ripple effect of genocide and the invisible scars it leaves on victims and their descendants. It’s now the topic of my film and book. Join my quest.

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