Nazis

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2 October 2020

Published September 30, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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A reminder that the Holocaust did happen. Dare we forget? This is a shortened version of a story I posted almost 4 years ago for What Pegman Saw. (Thank you, Josh and Karen). I feel it’s one that bears repeating.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

PERCHANCE TO DREAM

Bedtime was Eva’s chance to escape. Tonight, she flew close to the dazzling sun. Below water cavorted over glittering shells. A mermaid with gleaming fins sat on a crystal throne in the midst of the waves. Her eyes glowed like candles, beckoning Eva. Sea spray veiled her shining violet hair that cascaded over her shoulders like a silken cape.

She sang an enticing melody. “Eva, sweet Eva, come swim with me.”

***

“Eva, wake up!”

Shira grasped her sister’s narrow shoulders. Grey light through the barrack’s filthy window illuminated Eva’s skeletal face and serene smile.

Weeping, Shira whispered, “Arbeit macht frei.”

 

אנו זוכר’ם WE REMEMBER

Published April 21, 2020 by rochellewisoff

Because today is Yom HaShoah…Holocaust Remembrance Day, I’m taking the liberty of sharing a few flash fictions I’ve written. These are only four out of many I’ve written concerning the subject. It’s not much, but it is my way of keeping the voices of the past alive. Like many Jewish people, I had relatives who perished under the Nazis. However I never knew their names or their faces. My mother told me my grandfather, who came here to escape the pogroms in Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century, had been trying to help some of his relatives escape Hitler. Sadly, communications ceased. For those I never knew, I write these stories as tribute. May we never forget.

אנו זוכר’ם

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Katya played Chopin’s “Berceuse” on the imaginary piano in her coat pocket with trembling fingers. She tried to keep pace on the frozen path.

Without success, she tried to block out the image of her father, the cantor, lying in the street, his magnificent voice forever stilled. Latvia’s November wind whipped through her.  

She remembered when Professor Philipp at the conservatory in Paris proclaimed, “Katya Abramis, you have an exquisite talent.”

“Schnell!”

A drunken soldier ripped an infant from a young mother’s arms and shot him. She dropped to her knees only to suffer the same fate as her son. The snow turned red beneath them.

“Shoes in this pile, clothes in that.”

Katya obeyed. What choice did she have?

Standing naked at the edge of a deep pit, Katya pictured her beloved synagogue and heard Papa sing “Lord of the World, Who was, Who is, Who is to come.”   

There is little on the internet about Cantor Abram Abramis or his daughter Katya, renowned pianist of her time. Both perished in the 1941 Massacre in Riga. CLICK HERE for my source. 

אנו זוכר’ם

COMMISSION NUMBER 3

           Trina wasn’t forced to wear a yellow star like her friend Hanna, but she was ostracized by the other children who called her schwarz schimpanse.

            One day a uniformed woman entered the classroom. “Trina Azikiwe, I’m here to take you to the doctor.

            “I’m not sick.”

            The officer dealt Trina’s cheek a stinging blow. “Silence, Rheinlandbastard!”

            Trina would never forget the cruel procedure that rendered her forever childless or the doctor’s admonition. “Never have sexual relations with good Germans.”

            Good Germans? There were none better than her golden-haired mother and handsome bronze father who perished for their ‘sin’ in Dachau.

אנו זוכר’ם

SHOAH

            “Where’s Nadine?” I stamped my foot with childish impatience.

            “The Juif doesn’t live here anymore.” The man hissed through pinched lips.  

            “Because of the Bosche?”

            “No more questions.” The door slammed and he shouted from the other side. “Go away!”

________

            Seventy years later sunlight flickers on ocean waves at Saint-Marc. I walk along the deserted beach where Nadine and I gathered seashells and dreams.

            “Martine, swim with me.” 

            Shielding my eyes, I search the rippling waters. Nadine beckons. I’m warmed by her smile…and the twelve-year-old girl who choked her last in Auschwitz’s Zyklon-B showers lives forever in my heart.

To learn more about Nadine click here.

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

אנו זוכר’ם

SWINGJUGEND

            In 1969 my mother packed me off to my aunt and uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin.

            “But Mom, Uncle Otto’s weird. That eyepatch and those scars—ick.”

***

            One night he took my Jefferson Airplane record from the stereo and replaced it with his own 45.

            “You tink das ist protest music?”

            “‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,’” He sang. “The SS ransacked our nightclub, but I danced all the way to Buchenwald.”

            Uncle Otto taught me more than the jitterbug that summer.

***

            At his funeral last year I saluted my favorite uncle with, “Swing Heil!”

To those all who perished in the Holocaust, the heroes and the victims, I salute you! May your memories be a blessing. 

31 January 2020

Published January 29, 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 © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

In the Talmud it is written, “To save the life of one man is to save the world.” 

TO SAVE ONE LIFE

Pain seared through the fifteen-year-old’s leg. “I’m so clumsy.”

“The snow is slippery. Needless to say, you won’t be dancing for a while, ma chérie.” The doctor’s kind eyes brimmed. “It’s a severe break. You need to be in hospital.”

“No, the SS—”

“Without medical care, one leg will end up shorter than the other.”

“Better to limp than be dead.” Huguette moaned.

“Then you’ll stay here—in my chalet.”

Today, Huguette is petitioning Yad V’Shem to recognize Dr. Frédéric Pétri of Val d’Isère as one of the Righteous among the Nations. Ken Y’hi Ratzon. May it be so.   

 

To read more CLICK HERE. Thank you, Dale for sharing this with me.

No reason to include this video with this story. No reason.

13 December 2019

Published December 11, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

KEEPSAKE

           Hadassah stood amid the ruins of her once elegantly furnished home.

           She ached for two-year-old Aaron who had been seized and taken to the gas chamber. Peter took a bullet trying to save their son.

Typhoid claimed thirteen-year-old Gittel hours before the liberation.

 

            Seven-year-old Gittel held out a piece of paper splotched with color.

            “What is it?”

            The child huffed. “Anyone can see it’s a butterfly.”  

            “Our daughter’s an artist.” Peter beamed. “I’ll frame it.”

 

            “How on earth…?” With a gasp, Hadassah dropped to her knees and pulled the unscathed picture from the rubble.  

            “I painted it for you, Mama.”

22 November 2019

Published November 20, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Before beginning my rather somber story, I have some happy news. My WIP entitled “What the Heart Wants” is under contract with agent Diane Nine of Nine Speakers, Inc. To read more about it click here

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

PROJECT PINK

Dedrick intertwined his fingers with Levin’s long slender ones and stared at the ragged nails worn down by hauling stones from the quarry. Dedrick remembered winter nights when those elegant hands, never meant for such cruel labor, prepared succulent meals that would delight a king.

            Levin’s hoarse voice brought him back to Auschwitz. “Dedrick, I—”

            Dedrick pressed his finger against Levin’s chapped lips. “Save your strength.”

            Bruises marred Levin’s flawless complexion. One long-lashed eye had swollen shut. He reached out and touched the pink triangle on Dedrick’s striped uniform. “You must know…”

            Kissing Levin’s palm, Dedrick whispered, “I do.”

For more on this lesser known atrocity CLICK HERE

17 May 2019

Published May 15, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

HOMMAGE À ALFRED NAKACHE

The guard tossed his dagger into a tank. “Bring this back to me in your teeth, like the Jew dog that you are.”

            Alfred jumped into the fetid water. Diving under, Auschwitz disappeared and he remembered the crowd cheering when he set the world record for the 200 meter breastroke.

            At night he’d lie in his flea-infested bunk and dream of Annie and Paule. Determination to reunite with his wife and daughter gave him the strength to survive the death march to Buchenwald.

            In 1948 Alfred Nakache returned to his passion and went on to become a French national champion.

Alfred Nakache will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the Honoree Induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 18, 2019.  For more information about him CLICK HERE

 

23 November 2018

Published November 21, 2018 by rochellewisoff

 

Fun times with Russell Gayer at Ozarks Writers League Conference. November 17, 2018 (Not the prompt 😉 )

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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 © Dale Rogerson (Many thanks for the gracious loan of your photo. 😉

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Genre: Historical Fiction based on an actual survivor’s account.

Word Count: 100

PERSPECTIVES

Holding her granddaughter’s hand, Marta shut her eyes. “Doesn’t the water make a beautiful sound?”

            Barely six, Segol fidgeted beside her. “It’s just water, Savta.”

            “No. It sings the song of eternity.” Opening her eyes, Marta pointed to Segol’s new dress. “Your ema tells me you couldn’t decide between this blue one or the green one. She said you cried and cried.”

            Segol hung her head and muttered. “Yes.”

            “Such a choice. When I was six, I had to make a choice, too. Should I go with my mother to Auschwitz or flee to the convent? I cried and cried.”

***

Happy Thanksgiving this week to my American friends. I thought of reposting this story I shared 3 years ago. It’s a different perspective re Thanksgiving. The story is called “Keshagesh” which is a Cree word for “Greedy Guts.” Since many of you read and commented on it then, I’m just posting the link for the curious. https://rochellewisoff.com/2015/11/25/27-november-2015/

 

 

 

10 November 2017

Published November 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

FOR THE DEAD AND THE LIVING, WE MUST BEAR WITNESS *

            I remember it like it was yesterday—November 9, 1963 in Chicago, my father took me downtown to celebrate my 10th birthday.

            His German accent sounded like music. “Vhere shall ve go, schatzi?”

            “The Art Institute.”

            I skipped along the sidewalk, holding his hand. He stopped and went to his knees in front of a synagogue. Slipping off his hat, he covered his face. The sun limned his blond waves.  

            “What’s wrong, Vati?”  

            “Meine Schande. Those magnificent windows—shattered! 25 years ago today. Schweinehund!  Jewish businesses—destroyed! What did I do? Die Nill!  I—I stood by and did nothing.”

*Quote from Elie Wiesel 

 79 years ago this week. 

16 June 2017

Published June 14, 2017 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.

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

COMMISSION NUMBER 3

           Trina wasn’t forced to wear a yellow star like her friend Hanna, but she was ostracized by the other children who called her schwarz schimpanse.

            One day a uniformed woman entered the classroom. “Trina Azikiwe, I’m here to take you to the doctor.

            “I’m not sick.”

            The officer dealt Trina’s cheek a stinging blow. “Silence, Rheinlandbastard!”

            Trina would never forget the cruel procedure that rendered her forever childless or the doctor’s admonition. “Never have sexual relations with good Germans.”

            Good Germans? There were none better than her golden-haired mother and handsome bronze father who perished for their ‘sin’ in Dachau.

***

NOTE -Schwarz schimpanze – Black chimpanzee…(Do I need to translate ‘Rheinlandbastard?’)

*

*

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5 May 2017

Published May 3, 2017 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. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

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FOUNT OF LIFE

            “Andrea should know the truth,” said Myron. “May her father’s memory be blessed.”

            “The truth is she’s an American citizen now.” Cerulean eyes brimming, Gabrielle stroked her slumbering daughter’s golden curls. “Forget her father. Forget France.”

            Myron embraced his bride and drank in her fragrance. “Your survival is miracle.”  

            “A ‘miracle’ based on lies—forged papers and a fiancé in the Wermacht. Could’ve fooled Himmler himself.” She sniffed. “I should’ve died with my brunette sisters at Auschwitz.”

            Myron’s breath caught in his throat. “Fiancé?”   

            “The truth is my Albrecht loved me no matter what. I…willingly gave birth to his Lebensborn.”  

*

*

*

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