24 July 2020

Published July 22, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click on the frog picture to add your link.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


“Your mother committed suicide, and her sister before her.” Grandfather sneered. “Now your grandmother. You’re all cursed.”

            The night before, he’d forced Charlotte to share his bed “to ease his sorrow.”

             She whipped and poured eggs into a skillet. “Influenza killed Mama.”

            “Your papa lied.  Mark my words, you’re next.”

            She plopped an omelet onto his plate. “Bon apetit.”

            “Aren’t you going to eat.”

            “I’m not hungry.” She propped her drawing board on her lap.

            “What are you drawing now?”

            “You, Grandfather. I want to remember this moment.”

            “What did you put in this?”

            “Not much. Salt, pepper and Veronal.”


*Did she murder her grandfather? Historians are divided.  

Charlotte Salomon with her grandparents

87 comments on “24 July 2020

  • I had to look up veronal. Barbital I knew, but didn’t remember it’s generic name. Anyway, what a deeply sad and ugly story. Anita’s comment spoke to me, wishing to believe there are no more men like this one, but there are. Many, many more. Human nature doesn’t change with time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      I had to look up Veronal as well. 😉 The family kept a supply of these drugs on hand in the event the Nazis came for them, so they could take their own lives. Sadly, human nature doesn’t change, does it? So much hatred in the world. Frightening times we live in. Thank you for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Josh,

      I’m of the mind he did. While historians can’t agree on whether or not she actually murdered him, it does feel like poetic justice. My link picture is reportedly the portrait she sketched as he expired. Thank you.




  • Well, seems the curse was on him this time …
    What a vile, vile man. Too bad we know some like him, in the present time. I didn’t know about the veronal, but hey, I won’t judge her. I can’t judge her. I think too many of us may not condone, but surely understand.
    Thank you for another story of history that it less known than it ought to be.
    There is utterly too much of that – then and now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      Poetic justice I’d say. I had to look up veronal when i read the account. Apparently her grandparents kept barbiturates on hand. In the event of Nazis coming to take them away, they could commit suicide first. Grisly history all the way around no matter what brushstrokes you paint it with.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Penny,

      Abuse is a curse handed down from generation to generation, isn’t it? How sad that, not only did Charlotte have to worry about the Nazis, but her own family as well. Thank you.




  • I prefer to think of abuse like that as the product of mental illness. There’s still a stigma surrounding mental illness or a willingness to ignore it and blame the inflicted for actions over which they may not have any control. Of course, in situations like that wherein the inflicted is inflicting pain and suffering on others, if he’s unable or unwilling to get help, euthanasia may be the best option. I would call that self-defense over murder. Maybe it just scares me that human beings are capable of such heinous acts, especially against one’s own children, grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      It’s tough to say what Grandpa’s issues were. I wonder how much he had to do with Grandma jumping out a window. Many family details we’ll never know. At any rate Charlotte got him to stop. 😉 Thank you for your comments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Rochelle, reading her story sticks with me. How much she suffered, how much art sprang from it, and her unnecessary tragic end. Anyone who could stay balanced in the midst of all that…


  • Dear Rochelle,

    More importantly, did she get away with taking care of business? Oh right. It wasn’t proven that she did it. And if she did, he deserved it. Crazy to draw him as he died… I wonder what went through her head as she did it.
    As per, you drew a fabulous portrait of a historical person as only you can do.

    Shalom and lotsa freeing love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I just got done following your trail of bread crumbs and want to thank you for casting them my way. The older I get the more I realise i do not know. Life, or theatre, indeed.

    With gratitude,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Doug,

      I’m so happy you took time from your building and blueprinting to chase my trail. Just when I think there couldn’t possibly be another story another crosses my path and I must write. Thank you for your kind words, my friend.




  • Wow, Rochelle.

    A Buddhist book I read said there are three kinds of people in the world. Those who make it a better place, those who make no difference, and those who make it worse.
    On any given day, which am I? At the heart of this story (and so many others) is the main reason I am not a pacifist.
    May I say, your writing of this story elicited many emotions. Well done!
    (And I need to read the rest of the story).



    Liked by 1 person

    • Oopppss … lightning just splashed across the screen and posted my unfinished comment.
      GGrrrr … bueno, su cuento es muy interesante y bien escrito.
      I enjoyed the way she decided to capture the moment in a painting.
      The only way for her was to handle this herself.
      Buen fin de semana, mi amiga. Que la pases conetnta y con alegria.
      Abrazos y Carino,
      Isadora 😎😍

      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Isadora,

        I think I understand why Grandma jumped out a window. 😉 Strange family circumstances in perilous times. I really don’t know much about Veranol other than it was one of the drugs the family kept to off themselves to avoid being taken by the Nazis.
        Gracias para sus palabras amablles mi amiga.

        Shalom y buen salúd,



  • Querida Rochelle,
    Now, I’ve learned another bit of historic info. I did not know Veranol was kept in households for that reason. A nice drop or two for the Nazi’s would have also been good. Que mal tiempo esos dias de brutalidad. A sad, sad history we must pray will never happen again.
    Amor y abraozs,
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  • Love your work Rochelle.

    Amazing story. I’ll be honest and say that I was not aware of her and her remarkable talent that was forged amidst the suffering she endured. To think that she escaped an evil grandfather to be gassed by the Nazis while five months pregnant.

    “Today,” wrote Primo Levi in “Survival in Auschwitz,” “I think that if for no other reason than an Auschwitz existed, no one in our age should speak of Providence.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      Wonderful quotes. Just when I think I’ve heard all the stories left to tell, I learn of another. Such a life to be snuffed out so soon. Charlotte’s story is full of irony for sure. Thank you.




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