By Renata Polt
Those letters to a liked 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 at the back of. Henriette Pollatschek used to be sixty nine years previous whilst the Nazis marched into Prague, the place she and her daughter had sought safe haven after fleeing their German-held native land in northern Bohemia. Henriette's son and his kin had already escaped to Switzerland and later to Cuba and the us. At every one step of ways, her family members prompt Henriette to hitch them. yet within the face of what was once then just a imprecise and, to many, unimaginable hazard of risk, she used to be unwilling to desert her monetary independence, her accustomed lifestyle, and the familial items she had accrued over a life-time. As residing stipulations for Jews worsened in Nazi-occupied Prague, although, Henriette started to have moment strategies. Her letters to her son and his relatives in Havana show an more and more determined scenario because the hindrances to flee fastened whereas residing stipulations eroded. eventually either Henriette and her daughter perished.Henriette Pollatschek's letters supply an in depth photo of the lives of Jews in Prague throughout the struggle years: the evictions, the nutrition shortages, the concerns approximately livelihood, and the expanding prohibitions and laws, in addition to the courageous and pleased makes an attempt to keep up a typical lifestyles and undergo hardships. Henriette's letters additionally aid clarify why extra Jews didn't get away. As Renata Polt, Henriette's granddaughter, concludes, "Who may perhaps think a Holocaust?" Translated, edited, and annotated through Polt and illustrated with intimate relatives snapshots, this publication brings the horrors and dilemmas of the Holocaust alive in a relocating, own account whereas answering pertinent old questions about the explanations 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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Additional info for A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters
So far as I know, Mamina had no special allegiance to Judaism: she converted to Catholicism in 1939, but her letters thereafter reveal that her Catholicism was also nominal. Of the family's friends, Page xiv many were Jewish, some were not; none that I know of made any fuss about religion, their own or that of others. The Christian holidaysChristmas, Easter, and so forthwere routinely celebrated. On May 22, 1938, my parents, my brother, and I went to Switzerland on vacation. After our return to Aussig on July 30, my parents became increasingly concerned with the rising Nazism both outside and inside the borders.
One makes no progress with anything and drives oneself mad with all the difficulties. Just a while ago Frantisek was here and assured me that on Tuesday the transfer affair would be settled. Of course I have heard this story many times, but I hope this time it will be true. That way the other question, regarding the lift, would also be brought closer to being settled. I kiss you all a thousand times and wait for good news of you. Your Mamina May 8 My dear Friedrich, I do not know whether this letter will arrive in time to bring you my birthday wishes, but whenever it may arrive, whether too late or too early, it is full of love and wishes for your present and future life.
His and Lene's son Peter was there also. The situation for refugees in France was difficult: though France was the largest immigrant country in Europe (and, next to the United States, in the world), the chances for finding work were poor. Each refugee had to apply for a Carte d'identité (residence permit) within eight days of arrival. These were granted only to refugees with valid passports, which in turn were often impossible for refugees to obtain. A refugee who wanted to work had to apply for a worker's identity card, which was usually given only to an alien with five to fifteen years' residence in France and possessing a certificate from an employer requiring his services Page 7 cause he still has no residence permit.
A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters by Renata Polt