9 September 2022

Published September 7, 2022 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 © LIsa Fox

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

1938

“Is this how you remember it, Mom?” asked Ruth.

Naomi hadn’t seen the scenic deutsche Stadt in fifty years. The synagogue had been replaced by a church. Although some shops still existed, her childhood home did not.

She swallowed. “I was ten. Momma gave me a sack of her homemade macaroons for the long journey. She told me, ‘You’ll be safe with Aunt Gertie and Uncle Norman in New York.’

“Poppa crushed me in his strong arms. ‘Momma and I will come for you soon. You’ll see.’

“From the ship I watched them grow smaller and smaller.

“They never came.”

71 comments on “9 September 2022

  • It must have been so difficult to give up your children when you were able to. An unthinkable heartbreak for those who waited, or had no safe haven for them anyway. It beggars belief, the depths the human race sank to at that time. An always necessary reminder, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I was just looking over the photo again, and bejeebers me shivers the girl in the light colored coat just up from the middle post…well, she could be the dopplinger to my Granny at that age. I mean it, seriously… looks just like an old picture I have of her… I’m fried, now, completely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      This story is inspired by a book I just read called “Motherland.” It’s a memoir written by the daughter of a woman’s journey to her German childhood home after 50 years. It was heartbreaking. So I’m glad I managed to convey that in my flash fiction. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, tears first thing. Your reading brought the story to life. Can’t even imagine sending my kids off on a ship for a new country knowing I would probably never rejoin with them 😦

    I appreciate you using my photo this week. I knew it would generate good storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Whenever I read about refugees in our current times, and the disdain with which [some] people and politicians treat them, I wonder how desperate you have to be to put your children on a raft, or in a railway carriage, and brave a dangerous journey in the hope of reaching a country where you don’t speak the language. That desperation, and the enduring hope that sits behind it are a part of the human condition, as are the greed, prejudice and hatred that make it necessary. Powerful story, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Brenda,

      I recently read of a German Jewish woman’s return to her hometown after 50 years. Sadly, the separation from her parents at the age of 12 to live with an uncaring aunt left her emotionally scarred. After returning with her own daughter, she learned more about her parents’ sacrifice. Thank you so much for kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Parents forced to make these decisions for the safety of their children are heroes of the biggest order. Too many did not manage to join them.
    Beautifully done.

    Shalom and lotsa heartfelt love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well told, Rochelle.

    1938 was probably nearing last chances. Past time for many.
    Ten years old seems so young.

    The plight of refugees, ethnic cleansing, and genocide continues around the world to this day. Such sadness, then and now.

    But anyway,

    Peace,

    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      There are so many gut wrenching stories of the lengths parents went to to save their children. Just when I think I’ve read or heard them all, another comes to light.

      And I often wonder how close we are to 1939 ourselves. And the circles they go round and round, don’t they?

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish,

      One of the most thought provoking comments came from MASH in the OR. Frank Burns flippantly says, “War is Hell.”
      Hawkeye counters with “War is war and hell is hell and of the two war is the worst.”
      And goes onto say that in Hell there are no innocent bystanders.”
      No children shouldn’t be used as pawns, yet they are the worst victims, aren’t they?
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • This piece is packed with so much; the parents that gave up their daughter to the unknown, the daughter never seeing them again always having that question mark of what they endured, the synagogue erased from the landscape representing the act against the Jewish people that had been there. There’s no escaping the magnitude of wrongness simply conveyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I can’t imagine the bravery and heartbreak involved in this kind of separation. Many times they were reunited later but I’m sure a million things could happen where families couldn’t find each other again or other accidents happened. Great story. Have a good weekend.
    -David

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear David,

      The stories from that time abound, don’t they? Some with happy endings, but too many with tragic ones. Letting go of grown children and having them live afar off is hard enough. I can’t imagine the heartbreak for all concerned. I hope Hell has a special place for Hitler and his henchmen.
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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