Renia: A Holocaust Memoir

Table of Contents

Gitta, my mother and myself on vacation in the summer of 1938.

Gitta, my mother and myself on vacation in the summer of 1938.

I also had a lot of cousins in Bydgoszcz, cousins on my father’s side. And the cousins all had children. Many of the cousins got together every Sunday at a cafe called Bristol. They’d play billiards, drink coffee and talk, politics I think. We kids would sit in the window, overlooking the river Brda, eating good cakes, as the men played billiards and talked.

Before the summer of 1939, I wasn’t really aware of what was going on in the larger world. The only political incident I can remember before that summer happened in November 1938 (Kristallnacht), when German Jews were attacked by the Nazis. I remember my parents taking in a Jewish couple and their daughter. The woman arrived wearing her nightgown and a trenchcoat. They’d lived not far from the German border and had fled into Poland when they heard what was happening. They stayed with us for a short time. Other Jews who’d fled were put up in the synagogue, in schools, and in other Jewish homes.

Then in 1939 my parents started to talk about war. The war that was coming, they said, would take place in our part of the world.

Chapter 2 > 

 


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