12 February 2021

Published February 10, 2021 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

JUNE 12, 1943

“My little girl is a young woman.” Papa kissed Rutka’s cheek. “Happy fourteenth birthday!”

“I’ll never see my fifteenth.”

His reassuring smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Our God will protect you.”

“Will He? He allows innocent babies to have their heads smashed in while grandmothers are deported to the death camps.”

Rutka longed to go outside without a yellow star on her dress—to romp among fragrant flowers and trees.

“I’m young in age but old in experience,” she wrote in her diary. “The rope around us is getting tighter and tighter. Despite all these atrocities, I want to live…”

 

80 comments on “12 February 2021

  • The reality of what is written in Rutka’s diary is heartbreaking. We can’t afford to forget times like that or allow others to forget. It’s especially important now that the lives of many of those who lived through it are ending. We can’t let the hatred of many today continue to spread. This is a story that’s well-written, Rochelle, and stresses that fact. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Thank you for letting us see and hear a girl named Rutka. Who can understand the heart of man? We are capable of so much good and so much evil, especially towards children in and out of the womb.

    Shalom,
    Dora

    Liked by 1 person

  • Other than the obvious comparisons to Anne Frank, this reminds me of a movie I saw on PBS called “God On Trial.” It was based on Elie Wiesel’s book “The Trial Of God.” A group of men in a concentration camp held a trial for God for breaking his covenant with the Jewish people. It must be hard to maintain one’s faith in anything in the face of such evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I read “Night” where Mr. Wiesel speaks of his lack of faith after what happened. I’ve not read the other.
      Ironically, Rutka and Anne Frank were born on the same day. How sad they both died young at the hands of monsters. Hence the obvious comparisons.
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Such a heartbreak, and yet we seem to never learn. I lost my faith in humans long time ago.

    P.S. Dear Rochelle, its been awhile and I wanted to post the story today, but I can’t figure out all the changes in WordPress. I don’t see a notification for number of words, everything is looking so different. I can’t belive I was away for so long. Hopefully I will figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Awww, ya know these stories pull my heart strings. Sigh… It is a good one. I like the picture, too. We’re getting heavy snow outside the window, and just down the street it’s raining ice. hopefully I can get back to post something.

    Liked by 1 person

  • i’d been to the auschwitz, birkenau, and mauthausen concentration camps and the holocaust museum in washington, d.c. i still couldn’t comprehend how men were capable of such evil. then again perhaps others allowed them to.

    ***

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist Then they came fof the Trade Unionists, and I did not out speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me— And there was no one left to speak for me. —Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

    Liked by 1 person

  • It’s terribly sad that she didn’t after all make it to her fifteenth birthday, but I’m glad she wrote down what it was like to live those months under the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland. We need those voices or else others will forget even deny. Thank you for writing these stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    This was such a heartwrenching story. When I read you story and saw her, I immediately thought of Anne Frank another young and precious life lost. I’m thankful that they both kept diaries.

    Thank you for telling Rutka’s story. Stories like hers need to be told, lest we forget.

    Shalom,
    Adele

    Like

  • Beautifully written. Thank you for continuing to remind us. Now the numbers of survivors are dwindling, even more important.

    Here the UK Holocaust Educational Trust used to provide many first-hand speakers to schools throughout the UK and now also puts efforts into training two representatives for any school that wants to take part. My son visited Auschwitz during a 36 hour round trip and then later took part in teaching younger children at his school. It isn’t the same as first-hand accounts, but it keeps the flame alive and the work continues to be funded.

    Thankfully many of the Jewish children who made it here to the UK on Kinder Transport survived and thrived – my local Member of Parliament who is now Lord Dubbs escaped Czechoslovakia and has dedicated his life to fighting for refugees everywhere.
    As an obsessive I’d say you are is good company Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Miranda,

      Kudos to your son and you for helping to keep the flame lit. While I’m not the child of holocaust survivors I knew many growing up. My grandparents came here to escape the pogroms in Eastern Europe around the turn of the 20th century. My mom spoke of relatives they lost during WW2 that Grampa was working to bring over. All communication ceased quite suddenly. It doesn’t take a great historian to figure that one out, does it?

      Thank you for your kind words re my writing and your affirmative comments re my mission. I’m thankful for folks like your Lord Dubbs and others like him.

      Shalom and may we never forget,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • A sad period in history. The Polish Home Army – Resistance as they were called – fought back. There were many young women executed for their part Helena Marusarzowna being one amongst many.
    I visited Bergen-Belsen during my time in Germany and by doing so, it was the scale and the numbers involved that becomes real and apparent.

    Liked by 1 person

  • As it happens, I just read a book by Nelofer Pazira, “A Bed of Red Flowers”, published in 2005. Her anger so much resembles Rutka’s that I am torn back again to Afghanistan under the Soviets, which so much reminded me of stories of Poland under the Nazis. And then when the Soviets got tired of being hated, they left it to the various mujahedin and Taliban warlords to bomb Kabul to gain religious and political control. Everyone suffered, but for her the worst was against women instead of Jews (instead of wearing a star, they had to wear a burqa and could not leave the house without a man’s permission, even if they were sick and needed the hospital or starving and needed to find food). It just never seems to stop, no matter how much we write about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yes, Rochelle,

    Listening to you read this reminded me of reading Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” many years ago. I also read “Night” years later.

    Love the last four words, “…I want to live…”

    Peace (whenever possible),

    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  • A sad and touching story Rochelle. It is an amazing coincidence that Anne Frank and Ruta Laskier were born on the same day – June 12, 1929. And it’s only been less than 80 years since they were murdered. I wonder if the world has really learnt a lesson?

    Liked by 1 person

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