Rivesaltes

    In the morning you got... coffee which is really black water. I don’t know what it was made of, it may be malt. I can’t tell you; it was just...hot water. And you had your – your, your little... tin, which was your cup... and a metal kind of a plate. We kids got, once a month, we got a plate full of special ration. A little bit of white fat. ...A piece of... sugar, which hadn’t been made sugar yet – in a piece... a spoonful of jam. And that was a special treat; once a month children got that. But otherwise you had a 150 grams of bread. Anyone who’d see the people when they’re cutting up that loaf. It was a round loaf. They but up, how they- had to make sure that each piece was exactly even. I had to learn... not to be greedy, wanting the biggest piece. It had to unlearn...You know, now in fact I think if I have a chip on my shoulder, it’s I always must make sure that if you dish out food for some reason or another, that you don’t have the most. That yours is the smallest. That it’s- It remains. It’s a kind of a- It remained with me.

    There was a decree that the German children from homes – I was in a children’s home [having left her mother in Rivesaltes by then] - had to go back to the camp... right? And then we were, the reason why we were supposed to be on the list to be deported with my mother. But people have implored my mother to leave us behind. And she... relented, and said she’d go by herself because she knew her fate was the east - and that was death. So I mean she gave us life twice.

    Be strong my heart and patient, even if your longing is unsatisfied, we are half way up the ladder, we have to continue the laborious climbing and nothing is fulfilled. Be strong my heart and patient, the light of hope may be the driving force. You’ll have to wait much longer and bear fate’s many hard blows. Let’s not despair! Be strong my heart, and patient. You’ll have to get through to reach the goal. A rose coloured light in the sky is warning that suffering will come to an end.

     
     

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