By Renata Polt
Those letters to a loved son and his kinfolk 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 previous while the Nazis marched into Prague, the place she and her daughter had sought safe haven after fleeing their German-held place of birth in northern Bohemia. Henriette's son and his family members had already escaped to Switzerland and later to Cuba and the us. At each one step of ways, her relations suggested Henriette to affix them. yet within the face of what was once then just a imprecise and, to many, unimaginable hazard of chance, she used to be unwilling to desert her monetary independence, her accustomed lifestyle, and the familial items she had collected over a life-time. As dwelling stipulations for Jews worsened in Nazi-occupied Prague, even though, Henriette started to have moment strategies. Her letters to her son and his kinfolk in Havana show an more and more determined state of affairs because the hindrances to flee fastened whereas residing stipulations eroded. eventually either Henriette and her daughter perished.Henriette Pollatschek's letters offer an in depth photograph of the lives of Jews in Prague in the course of the struggle years: the evictions, the foodstuff shortages, the concerns approximately livelihood, and the expanding prohibitions and rules, in addition to the courageous and joyful makes an attempt to take care of a regular lifestyles and undergo hardships. Henriette's letters additionally support clarify why extra Jews didn't break out. As Renata Polt, Henriette's granddaughter, concludes, "Who may well think a Holocaust?" Translated, edited, and annotated by way of Polt and illustrated with intimate relations snapshots, this e-book brings the horrors and dilemmas of the Holocaust alive in a relocating, own account whereas answering pertinent ancient questions about the explanations of Jews who stayed at the back of. Renata Polt is a free-lance author and picture critic dwelling in Berkeley, California.
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Extra resources for A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters
Pepi sent me Liesel's letter of the 25th, heavy with homesickness but fortunately now out of date. I understand her very well, but you mustn't believe that we are happy here. Nobody, without exception, can do anything but envy you. That the children are often bored is something I can understand; they miss school, but now you have your house and your garden, and everything will surely get better. Do you go to the beach? I am so eager to hear how everything is in your household; do write in as much detail as possible.
The conditions are as miserable as you can imagine, but there is no alternative. A thousand kisses, Mama May 5 My dear children, Today I was rich in mail; after receiving Liesel's letters from the ship from Pepi yesterday, the air mail letter of the 20th arrived this morning, via Aussig, and at noon Friedrich's cable. I read your letters so often that I know them by heart, as Pepi wants them all back and of course I'll send them to her, hard as that is for me. After all, it's my only contact with you.
Everything else, the bowls too, would have to remain behind, or instead of sending them, I would have to get some smaller, lighter ones. Now I hope that the tax declaration is finally ready; up to now, not a single transfer has been made just because of this difficulty, and the question of the lift stands or falls by this also. At any rate, next week I'll have the things packed, sealed by the customs department, and will move with all the stuff to Veverková Street. Until you hear further, write to my old address; the mailman, that is, the post office, will be notified.
A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters by Renata Polt