You were almost right, Dad

Reiza SHoshana Klingberg Cohen“Dad looked out of the window and said that the Germans will finally lose and Hitler will die, but we will hear of it only when someone shouts it into our graves. And now I sit here, in Auschwitz, in my block. The Russians are knocking at the gates.” The memories of Reiza (Shoshana) Klingberg, later Cohen, who was my mother-in-law. She survived Auschwitz, where she stayed, not because of being Jewish.

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Psychology of the trickling persecution in the Bavarian quarter

Auschwitz hand tattooWhen the strange people started coming to Israel, I was a little girl. They were wearing a blue number tattooed on their left hand. People whispered, pointed their fingers at them, and argued. I did not quite understand. The streets filled with people who would mumble to themselves or shout in all kinds of languages and frighten us, the children. Parents whispered that they were not dangerous but wretched, that they lost their minds in the concentrations camps. They taught us about the Holocaust at school and asked: “Why did they go without resistance? prosecuted like sheep to the slaughter.” We did not understand.

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Memorial sirens and gas masks

The earliest memory that I have is that of the rush to shelter, to the sounds of the sirens in the Sinai Campaign. My mother carrying me downstairs, along with her wallet and a “shelter bag”; I never found out what was in it. The last part of the stairs was smooth, very wide and without a railing, which made me tremble with fear. My brother escorted us from behind with an oil lamp in his hands. Continue reading Memorial sirens and gas masks