By Renata Polt
Those letters to a cherished son and his kin inform the poignant tale of 1 woman's existence in Nazi-occupied Prague and aid clarify why a few Jews stayed in the back of. Henriette Pollatschek was once sixty nine years previous while the Nazis marched into Prague, the place she and her daughter had sought safe haven after fleeing their German-held place of origin in northern Bohemia. Henriette's son and his relatives had already escaped to Switzerland and later to Cuba and the USA. At each one step of how, her family members prompt Henriette to hitch them. yet within the face of what was once then just a obscure and, to many, unimaginable risk of possibility, she used to be unwilling to desert her monetary independence, her accustomed lifestyle, and the familial items she had amassed over an entire life. As dwelling stipulations for Jews worsened in Nazi-occupied Prague, in spite of the fact that, Henriette started to have moment innovations. Her letters to her son and his relatives in Havana demonstrate an more and more determined scenario because the stumbling blocks to flee fastened whereas dwelling stipulations eroded. finally either Henriette and her daughter perished.Henriette Pollatschek's letters supply an in depth photo of the lives of Jews in Prague throughout the struggle years: the evictions, the meals shortages, the concerns approximately livelihood, and the expanding prohibitions and rules, in addition to the courageous and pleased makes an attempt to keep up an ordinary existence and undergo hardships. Henriette's letters additionally aid clarify why extra Jews didn't get away. As Renata Polt, Henriette's granddaughter, concludes, "Who may perhaps think a Holocaust?" Translated, edited, and annotated through Polt and illustrated with intimate relations snapshots, this booklet brings the horrors and dilemmas of the Holocaust alive in a relocating, own account whereas answering pertinent historic questions on the causes of Jews who stayed at the back of. Renata Polt is a free-lance author and movie critic dwelling in Berkeley, California.
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Extra resources for A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters
In 1890 she married Hermann Pollatschek, director of the I. Petschek coal works in Aussig, and in 1898 they built the large house on Kroitzschgasse (Kroitzsch Street) in Aussig that was to become the family home for the next thirty-six years. Two sons, Hans and Willi, died during World War IHans in battle, Willi in the 1918 influenza epidemic. Daughter Helene (Lene), born in 1893, married Eugen Fürth, a paper manufacturer, and moved to nearby Nestersitz. Son Friedrich, born in 1896, married Elisabeth (Liesel) Lederer in 1927; her father, a Jew, had converted to Lutheranism on marrying her mother, a Gentile.
Here at least the weather is sunny, almost too hot. Yesterday I even sat a while on my dirty kitchen balcony among the brooms and buckets with the view of the sooty facades. The difference between then and now is about like the difference between sitting on my blessed veranda and on this balcony. Nonetheless, there are much worse fates than mine; above all, up to now I have suffered no deprivation, and then too I know you to be in safetythat means so much in our explosive times. In order to distract myself a bit, I am equipping myself with everything I need by way of dresses, underwear, and shoes, so as to be set for a long time in that respect at least, and not to have to buy anything else.
Mamina did not want to leave Lene. Lene did not want to leave for the United States, Cuba, or any other possible refuge country, partly because she clung to her possessions but also because she wanted to join her husband Eugen in France; however, she had no way of getting to France and staying there. Thus, another essentially admirable traitfamily loyaltybecame a cause of fatal immobility. For any person already hesitant because of economic fears or family ties, the incredible formalities put in the way of potential emigrants posed a further barrier.
A thousand kisses: a grandmother's Holocaust letters by Renata Polt