Fred Schwab and Marianne Schwab, née Rothschild
“My mother taught me not to hate”
by Angelika Rieber
Fred Schwab was born in Frankfurt. In 1935, he managed to leave Germany. His wife Marianne, née Rothschild, came from the town of Bad Homburg. After the 1938 Pogroms, she fled to the USA via Britain. The couple visited their former country as guests of the City of Frankfurt, to which they kept close emotional ties. Both returned often, met former classmates and spoke at schools. Their daughter Madeleine was invited by the City of Bad Homburg in 2013. She attended the opening ceremony for a deportation memorial in her mother’s home town. From here, her grandparents had been deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942.
Fred Schwab: “We need to look ahead”
Fred Schwab was born as Friedrich Ernst Schwab into a Jewish family with a centuries-old history in Germany and Frankfurt.
Born into this metropolitan city in 1918, he grew up at Rheinstraße 7 in Frankfurt’s Westend district and visited the nearby Goethe-Gymnasium. Fred’s father owned a large business at Moselstraße 4 (Gebr. Feisenberger. Kurzwaren, Spielwaren, Strumpfwaren). The family was firmly established among Frankfurt’s society. His parents married at the traditional Frankfurter Hof hotel, together with Christian and Jewish friends. The family was not very religious and attended the liberal Westend Synagogue. They celebrated “Weihnukka”: Hanukkah as well as Christmas (“Weihnachten” in German).
When Hitler was installed, the family did not even remotely consider leaving the country. At school, Fred hardly noticed antisemitism and the Nazis at first. However, in 1935, he left school with a ten-year General Certificate of Secondary Education (Mittlere Reife) to start a commercial apprenticeship.
Klaus Schwab's daughter Nicole....
Amidst the complexity and beauty, chaos and agony of our present time, I believe we are being called to step into wholeness and live to our full potential.
This is a time when playing small is no longer acceptable. Not only for us as individuals, but also collectively, as a society. And for me, this means we urgently need to reclaim the sacred feminine within our hearts, bodies and minds – that part of us, which we may have unwillingly buried because it was not valued by the world we grew up in. The wild voice calling our name from within the unexplored caverns of our soul.
Through my journey I have come to understand how deeply most of us have been conditioned to view everything female and feminine as being worth less than their male or masculine counterpart. This doesn’t apply only to the fact of being a woman, but also to our inner feminine qualities, our intuition and empathy, our ability to connect with all of life, to be permanently in touch with the wisdom flowing through our bodies. Somehow, we have adopted the belief – consciously or not – that being and feeling are not quite as important as rational thinking, action and control.
The tragedy is that we have severed ourselves not only from our own bodies, but also from the larger body of the planet, an intimate extension of who and what we are. And in this disembodied state, we find ourselves stripped of our inner power and wisdom. Like Maya, the main protagonist of The Heart of the Labyrinth, we are left with nothing but a question and an inexplicable longing:
“What would it be like to experience a profound connection with life, with the Earth, with each other? It was hard to even imagine. I had been raised to denigrate anything that was not of the intellect, to dismiss any alleged source of knowledge that lay beyond reason and analysis. Had I missed an essential part of what it meant to be human? A painful longing started to well up within me, and I suddenly felt immense grief for the loss of something I couldn’t fully grasp yet, a loss I seemed to have unknowingly inflicted upon myself.”
The wise woman who guides her on her journey confirms:
“Yes, Maya, you lost your Mother in the deepest sense. …you were torn away from the Pachamama, [the Mother Earth], from that within you which knows. The world you grew up in taught you to suppress Her until you could no longer hear Her voice. This is why you are in so much pain. A pain that your body has been holding for years, begging you to listen. To listen and to remember that She is still here, waiting for you to notice Her again.”
Many of us are starting to feel this pain. In a million different ways, our bodies are slowly waking up from the slumber of apathy and denial. The pain is becoming stronger every day, urging us to surrender to the transformation, remember who we are, and rekindle the embers of the sacred feminine fire.
“Reclaiming the feminine. It is about reclaiming our intuition, the voice that speaks in the dark. About reconnecting with the one who reveals herself in the moonlight, in the whispers of dead leaves crackling under our feet. She, the impermanent One, shining in the eyes of a newborn child and in the creases of an old man’s hands. She, the force of change. Powerful beyond measure. Forever untamed. We must accept her in the fullness of her glory, fierce and gentle, soft and wild. Only thus will we be showered with the grace of Her presence. And to do that, we must start by remembering that we are also made of flesh and bone, that we have the capacity to know by feeling, to know through this amazing body of ours.”
This is our journey as much as it is Maya’s. It is the path leading us back to wholeness, to healing for ourselves and for our planet.
This is my invitation to all of us. This is my plea.
Nicole Schwab is an author and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, and EDGE Certified – a global scheme certifying organizations for closing the gender gap in the workplace.
Her first book, The Heart of the Labyrinth, from Womancraft Publishing, gives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the feminine principle and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being.
ART & CREATIVITY FEMINISM HEALING
#65: Exploring The Heart of the Labyrinth with Nicole Schwab
May 18, 2018 Tagged as: Environment, Gender, Journeying, Literature
In this show, we talk with Nicole about her book ‘The Heart of the Labyrinth’ about a woman who takes a journey to rediscover her lost connection with Mother Earth and the sacred feminine. We find it what motivated her to write the book, how she created the conditions in which it could be written and the impact she hopes the book will have on those who read it.
Nicole is author of The Heart of the Labyrinth, an evocative spiritual parable, which gives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the sacred feminine and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being. Facilitator and social entrepreneur, Nicole co-founded a number of non-profit organizations active in the environmental and gender fields, including EDGE Certified Foundation, a global label certifying organizations for closing the gender gap in the workplace. Nicole blogs on the nature of reality and is on the Advisory Boards of Treesisters and The WellBeing Project.
Find out more about Nicole and her work
Get the book on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Heart-Labyrinth-Nicole-Schwab/dp/1910559008