11 March 2022

Published March 9, 2022 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100
A tribute to all the “Uncles and Aunts” who risked their own lives to save others.

SAFEKEEPING

Shira slipped a worn photo of a smiling two-year-old from her pocket that, like she, had managed to survive hell. Had Hans kept his promise? Trembling, she knocked on the cottage door.

It opened. “Danke Gott!” A stout man with ruddy cheeks embraced her. “Ilsa, who is this lady?”

A five-year-old clung to his leg. “I don’t know, Uncle Hans.”  

Shira knelt. “Don’t you remember me?”

Ilsa shook her head and stared at the numbers on Shira’s forearm.   

Shira’s heart sank. “Oy, meyn kleyn ketzl.”

Momma katz?” Ilsa threw her arms around Shira’s neck. “I knew you’d come for me.”

*Oy meyn kleyn ketzl – Oh, my little kitten”

Ilsa perhaps?

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75 comments on “11 March 2022

    • Dear Neil,

      I think perhaps the child remembered it as in a dream. It could’ve been a game mother and child played….kitten and Momma Cat. I believe those kinds of things stick with us, even as small children. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    They say our earliest memories start around the age of two which, for me, makes this story all the more sweet. You tell so much with so few words and I like to think Hans did a wonderful job keeping the memory of Mama Katz alive. Wonderful!

    Shalom and lots of held-onto love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      My thoughts exactly. As I told Neil, I believe this was an affectionate game Shira and Ilsa played. While Ilsa forgot what her mother looked like in three years, she remembered the game. And, most likely, she still remembered the pain of being separated from Mama Katz. I also believe Hans did keep it alive.
      So glad you picked up the small nuances and cues.

      Shalom and lotsa memorable hugs,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Breaks your heart, especially as children are being separated from parents in order to escape a dictator once again! It is an atrocity in and of itself…. sigh…. Good news, my friend, Tatiana made it out with her wee ones to the UK. She’s safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bear,

      I hate what’s going on in the present. I’m praying for two young men who were part of our congregation. Brilliant musicians. They’ve been living with their family in Belarus. One of them has chosen to flee. I haven’t heard anything for the past week and a half. I am worried. I’m happy to hear that Tatiana and her children are safe.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rochelle, My heart is sooo sad today. Yesterday, Tatiana passed along that her husband was killed fighting for their freedom. She has decided to stay in Europe for the moment. She can’t get here because the borders are closed. It’s just not right all around. Will be praying for your friends as well. Shalom, Bear

        Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, my heart!

    I just watched a film about the involvement of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrandt in WWII. Produced by The Voice of the Martyrs, it’s the story of how they actually helped Nazi soldiers escape from the Russians in the last year of the war, the power of true forgiveness. You may have heard of his story–“Tortured for Christ,” of his later imprisonment by the Russians for his Christian testimony.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you, Rochelle, for this. So apt these days, alas, when children are again needing to be sent away, to flee a dictator’s rabid rage, in hopes that there will be safety someplace else, till their families can reunite.
    The horrors of WWII are awake in many of us, these days. The people lost. The families decimated. The senseless, awful loss.
    And … the moments of hope. And reconnection. And the good, brave people who are there, and always mattered, and still do.
    May the insanity end.
    xoxo
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      I grew up under the shadow of WWII, Not that we all didn’t, but 1953 was only 6 years after the Liberation. The wounds were still fresh and oozing and my mother never let me forget. God bless her for that. Seeing similar things happening today sickens me…as it should. I’m with you, may the insanity end SOON. Glory Ukraine. Never forget.
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. I know. I grew up a little later, but the shadow of the holocaust was everywhere, in almost every family I knew. And in my extended one, where so many were lost. If this current Hitlerism-by-Putin did not disturb and trigger and upset and devastate us, then I’d be worried. For it should. And he is hellbent on his Gulag Reich, never mind the human cost, even more so at the human cost. And the gaslighting, too, right out of the Nazi’s book. It is sickening. Never ever forget. Na’ama
        Never forget indeed.

        Like

  • What a horrible situation all the way around. Even the “Uncle” who has been caring for little Shira for three years, over half her life, has to give her back to her mother. That’s not nearly as important as reuiniting a mother and child, but it’s the endless ripples from this stain on humanity.

    Like

  • A reality unspeakably difficult to contemplate ever having to experience, being separated from one’s children in time of war. The happy ending is also unspeakably sad. Good story writing on a tragic reality of wartime 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  • You reminded me that the tearing apart of families near seems to stop. I feel powerless… to the point of thinking of going to Ukraine to stand with the Ukrainians

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mistress Rochelle,

    Another poignant story of reflection into the difficulties of life made more meaningful through lens of hindsight. Well done, M’lady. As always, let there be…

    Peace,

    Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      As usual these days, I’m scrambling to catch up with FF. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad there are so many videos of firsthand accounts to remind us that the Holocaust did indeed happen. May we never be allowed to forget. Although there are still maniac dictators out there. 😦 Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s wonderful that there were families brave enough to conceal the children. Imagine their constant fear that the child would let their real identity slip. Just horrible. It’s so good to read about this family’s happy reunion. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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