Renia: A Holocaust Memoir

Table of Contents

Pola Goldstein in Canada in 1979.

Pola Goldstein in Canada in 1979.

Rick and Eva flew over for the funeral and we sat shiva. Gitta had been the last real link with my past. She was a much stronger person than I am, much more like my mother. Gitta was intelligent, good-hearted, easy-going. I wish I was half as good a person as she was.

The person who helped get me through Gitta’s loss was Pola Goldstein. She and her husband Joel and their two sons, Gadi and Shika, lived two doors down the street from Gitta’s little house in Kfar Saba. Through the years, Pola and Gitta had become close friends; they were like sisters. After Moshe’s death, when Gitta was ill, Pola had looked after her. And after Gitta’s death, Pola took care of me, and helped me settle Gitta’s affairs. After I returned to Toronto, she became the sister who was far away. Not long after Gitta’s death, the kids and I brought Pola to Canada for a six-week visit in the summer of 1979. We had a great time. I still talk to her twice a month and whenever I go to Israel, I stay in Gitta’s little house and spend most of my time with Pola.

Gitta's grave.

Gitta's grave.

I didn’t enjoy Israel when we moved there in 1958. It was good to be reunited with my sister but life there at that time was just too hard for us. It’s now half a lifetime since I lived in Israel — and then only briefly — but Israel has become home to me. It’s the one place on earth where I truly feel at home. A lot of it has to do with Gitta, of course. Visiting her when she was alive was like coming home when I was a girl. Today, when I visit her grave, I’m also visiting the graves of my parents and Leon’s parents and of so many others whose graves we can’t visit because they don’t exist or can’t be found.

Chapter 9 > 
  


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