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Chapter 02 – Mother

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“And no language of poetry exists that can articulate our tragedy on the written page”
Uri Zvi Greenberg

On the night of September 25, 1939, we waited for Father, who was late in coming home. None of us knew where he had been taken or for what purpose or when he would return. Night fell. My mother was gripped in fear and she took me into her arms. I was the youngest of the siblings. My oldest sister, Ita, aged twelve, tried to instill calm, embracing her two younger sisters, Sara and Zipporah. With tears in their eyes, they huddled together in the center of the bed near my mother. We awaited the unknown.

Heavy gunfire shattered the quiet of the night. Shots were heard at increasingly shorter intervals. Suddenly, the door opened and Father entered, exhausted and perspiring, a look of desperation on his face. “The accursed Germans are slaughtering us mercilessly, cruelly and without cause,” I heard him whisper to my mother. Father went into the kitchen, seeking to satisfy his hunger. Afterwards, he joined us in bed. We lay in tense anticipation of the next day. The volleys of gunfire that echoed in the air were constant, not ceasing for a minute. Not one of us fell asleep during that night.

s arms, drifting between sleep and wakefulness. Every attempt to close our eyes and sleep was interrupted by the sound of bullets and the roar of cars and tanks. It seemed as if everything was aimed at our house. With every burst of fire, my mother would embrace wails of fear.