Tag Archives: The Holocaust

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska

Portrait of a Character – Noemy Chelenska

Noemy Chelenska started off as just a sounding board for Milena.

Origins

As a part of Rick Daniels meeting Milena Chelenska, he is originally hit by a car. Milena, a doctor, thinks she needs to treat him, but that’s unnecessary, given that his blood is spiked with stem cell growth accelerator. As she watches him rapidly heal without any intervention on her part, someone had to take pictures and be the person who she would bounce ideas off. Enter Noemy, who gets her name from a family friend.

Noemy is also seen in Day of the Dead; she’s only fourteen when Tripp Tucker and others liberate Dachau.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Klara Issova
Klara Issova as Noemy Chelenska (image is for educational purposes only)

Noemy is played by Czech actress Klara Issova.

I like to try to get actors of the same or a close ethnicity and Issova certainly fits the bill. It’s a bonus that she was in Anne Frank: The Whole Story, and plays a Holocaust survivor.

Personality

Brittle and damaged, Noemy and Pawel are constitutionally incapable of getting together, or so it seems. Even in the late 1960s, after having known each other for over twenty years, she still can’t call him first. They are at a stalemate until Rick arrives and turns their lives upside-down.

Relationships

Pawel Balcescu

Noemy’s only known relationship is with Pawel. They meet after their liberation from Dachau when they are waiting, with Milena and Mrs. Klinghofer, at a transit camp. This puts their meeting after the end of Day of the Dead.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Noemy existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character - Noemy Chelenska
Klara Issova as Mirror Noemy (image is for educational purposes)

As an artist (she is a portrait photographer), she would be in an elite class and could be rather wealthy indeed.

Quote

“What do you mean to do? We do not; I will not have you speed her along.”

Upshot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Prague Spring | Noemy Chelenska
Prague Spring

For a character who started off as little more than a sounding board, she lives through the Velvet Revolution and even captures it in pictures.

Not bad for the ol’ gal, eh?

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Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Origins

Shapiro was written specifically for the Tripp Tucker end of life story, Day of the Dead.

Portrayal

Herbie is played by Jesse Eisenberg (although Herbie would be wearing glasses, this is how I see him).

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Herbie Shapiro

It’s important to me that Herbie be played by a Jewish actor. Further, I think Eisenberg could convincingly be the voice of reason during a lot of the weirder changes that occur during Day of the Dead.

Personality

Intelligent and compassionate, when Herbie sees Milena Chelenska, her sister Noemy, and Mrs. Klinghofer while liberating Dachau, he immediately decides to try to help them. It’s possible that Herbie’s actions help Milena to survive long enough to meet Richard Daniels, thereby making him vital to the integrity of the timeline.

Relationships

Herbie says he has a girl, but she is never actually mentioned by name. But he marries someone (and not necessarily her), as he is an ancestor to Ethan – and, by definition, Rebecca.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Mirror Herbie

There are no impediments to Herbie existing in the Mirror Universe. For the Mirror, prior to First Contact, life had to be even shorter, more brutal, and nastier. For Jews in the Mirror, as I write them, if Herbie was to practice his faith at all, he would have to do so in secret, much like the Mirror Universe version of Leah Benson. I doubt he would be called Herbie, either. He might even change his first name in order to fit in better (but not his last name, as he is an ancestor to the Mirror Ethan, who is one of Doug‘s kills). Perhaps he’d be Henry.

Quote

“No, that’s not true. I got a letter from my mother. She saw on the newsreel when Auschwitz was liberated, back in January. …

“Nothing much, Tony. But we had heard rumors, you know? I got a cousin who got out in ’37 and he said he heard they was burning bodies in these places. My mother just wrote that it was, it was confirmed, y’see. Arbeit macht frei. I bet that’s a big old Nazi laugh.”

Upshot

For a somewhat throwaway character, I feel Herbie packs a punch. He’s memorable, and not just for his place within the overall timeline.

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