A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters by Renata Polt

By Renata Polt

Those letters to a loved son and his kin inform the poignant tale of 1 woman's existence in Nazi-occupied Prague and aid clarify why a few Jews stayed in the back of. Henriette Pollatschek used to be sixty nine years outdated whilst the Nazis marched into Prague, the place she and her daughter had sought safe haven after fleeing their German-held fatherland in northern Bohemia. Henriette's son and his kinfolk had already escaped to Switzerland and later to Cuba and the USA. At each one step of ways, her kin recommended Henriette to hitch them. yet within the face of what used to be then just a imprecise and, to many, unimaginable risk of risk, she used to be unwilling to desert her monetary independence, her accustomed lifestyle, and the familial items she had amassed over an entire life. As dwelling stipulations for Jews worsened in Nazi-occupied Prague, despite the fact that, Henriette started to have moment options. Her letters to her son and his relatives in Havana show an more and more determined state of affairs because the stumbling blocks to flee fixed whereas residing stipulations eroded. finally either Henriette and her daughter perished.Henriette Pollatschek's letters offer an in depth photo of the lives of Jews in Prague throughout the battle years: the evictions, the foodstuff shortages, the troubles approximately livelihood, and the expanding prohibitions and laws, in addition to the courageous and pleased makes an attempt to take care of a typical lifestyles and endure hardships. Henriette's letters additionally support clarify why extra Jews didn't get away. As Renata Polt, Henriette's granddaughter, concludes, "Who may think a Holocaust?" Translated, edited, and annotated through Polt and illustrated with intimate relations snapshots, this ebook brings the horrors and dilemmas of the Holocaust alive in a relocating, own account whereas answering pertinent ancient questions on the reasons of Jews who stayed in the back of. Renata Polt is a free-lance author and picture critic residing in Berkeley, California.

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Police offices? 3. One of the many documents required for emigration Page 2 But after all, there has been some good news today: Fritz4 has returned from his involuntary excursion, and Tante Tonscha, who was here with Lene till 10 at night, called up a few minutes ago. She was overjoyed, and so Easter won't be quite so dismal after all. Sunday noon the two of them and Lene will be here with me, and we will drink a bottle of Liesel's Rhine wine to our and your health. I hope that you will have something to enjoy also.

Mamina and Lene were not among those Jews lacking the money to emigrate or the connections abroad to get them the required affidavits of financial support. Such persons were often aided by Jewish and other organizations. Rather, as members of the upper middle class, the two women were, ironically, in a worse position, having more to lose. Their possessionsthe objects they were familiar with and all they had left of their homehad both a real and a symbolic value for them. If they emigrated, most women and retired people stood to lose the nonexportable incomes that gave them independence.

However, since the day before yesterday and for the next six weeks I have a change of pace three times a week in the form of an hour of devotion at the Cloister of Emmaus with Father Heinrich, a good friend of Onkel Fritz's and his regular visitor in earlier times. Tonscha goes too, as well as ten others, gentlemen and mostly ladies. The old Father tells stories from the Bible in a very wise and totally natural manner, also general doctrine, partly on a philosophical basis. Each person studies the catechism by himself at his own discretion, and after the prescribed time has passed, I hope to be found worthy of adding a new page to my collection of documents.

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