Marion Baruch was born in 1919 in a family apartment in Eimsbüttel in Hamburg, Germany.
She was the smallest child of three; The first older sister was Helga and he second was Rolf, “Roli” he was called by everyone.
Their life were comfortable. They had everything they needed. There was only one difference between Marion and other girls in her age: Her family was Jewish, and in 1933, when the Nazis took over Germany, this difference was a matter, the world as she know it started to change.
She studied in Casper-Voght Gymnasium in Hamm, and in Lyceum school she studied fasion design until 1935.
In 1936 more changes came. She was left alone with her father, after her sister Helga immigrated to Palestina, and her brother left to a Hachshara camp near Berlin to get ready for the same immigration with other young Jewish people who suffered from the Antisemitism in Germany, and saw in the Zionism and the immigration to Israel the only solution that can save them.
Their dad did not believe in this solution. He always said that the camels in Palestina will eat them if they will immigrate. Marion also didn’t see her future in the immigration idea, at least in the beginning.A month after her sister Helga left, her mother died from a disease.
Marion grew up to be a sensitive teenager girl, artists. She played the piano, designed fasion cloths and painted beautifully.
In 1938, while working as a designer in the shop Robinson in Neuer Wall, her world started breaking.
During the Pogrom night (Chrystal Night) of 1938, her father was arrested bu the Nazis for six weeks and she stayed alone at home, not knowing what to do.
She was alone in the house. Not knowing what to do. She drank alone at the kitchen table until she could sleep.
Helga, her sister in Palestina heard about the situation and urged Roli to check on Marion. He takes the train from the camp near Berlin to Hamburg.
When Roli arrives, he finds a messy house, with empty alcohol bottle on the table:
“Father’s table is messed like an author’s table. There is an empty bottle of liqueur on the table”
He will write later to his worried sister in Palestina.
Six weeks will pass until Georg, will come back from the camp Sachsenhausen, he is ill and suffer from cold burns on his hands.
New anti Jews laws emerged in Germany and Marion is fired from her job in Robinson because of that.
Marion agrees after the pressure from her brothers and understanding of the new-old reality that she needs to leave Germany, even if in means leaving her father alone.
They succeed to arrange an approval for Marion to leave to Holland, “To meet a boy” her father writes in the request.
We don’t know anything about this boy. We just know that later she will write her sister Helga:
“I always look for the impossible things in boys”
At the end she decides again not to leave her father alone, and the plan to leave to Holland is cancelled.
Their new plan is to try and get an approval for the father to leave Germany first. The Nazis are demanding a huge amount of money from the Jews to leave the country.
Marion, desperately writes to her sister in Palestine and urgent telegram, requesting help with the money. but her sister, Helga, was a refugee in Palestine. She had no money.
Marion write to Helga a frighting telegram:
“HELP, ONLY YOU CAN HELP FATHER!”
It doesn’t help. Halga cannot arrange this amount of money. It will hunt Helga for the rest of her life.
Marion gets a job as a movie theater poster painter, in the Jewish theater in Grindel.
On her next try to leave the burning ground of Germany, she succeed to get an approval to leave to Britain.
In the approval form the German authorities it is mentioned that:
“she have too much of underwear”
and all her belonging are counted.
This approval is being signed in 31.8.1939.
On the next day the war breaks, and the gates of Germany are closed. Marion cannot leave. It was too late.
Marion and her father are forced to move to the Jew houses in the Grindel neighborhood.
Back to happier times:
In 1936, Marion’s sister, Helga, is married to Bernard Arna, a guy she met at the Hachshara Kibutz in Rissen, Hamburg. As a goodbye present, Marion paints a book for her sister Helga and her husbend. The book is funny, sarcastic, sad. The painting is so special. This is our window to Marion:
(When too small, click on the image to open the text in German)
Sing to the melodie:
“A trip by sea what fun it can be” (Eine Seefahrt die ist lustig)
To listen to the song:
Listen gentlemen, Listen ladies
Today we lead all our sorrows to the scaffold!
Hallahi, hollaho – oh
holla hia, hia, hia, hia hooh!
Do you know the former white house outside at the heath?
Yes? then know this: there the whole thing started to beat…
when the earth turned a few more times around its core
one can see Helga how she cleans, scrubs, shines the boots and sews and more and more…
Later Helga rides bravely on her bicycle, but with very carefully starting
And when the sucking little thing girl appears behind her, she does a downswing
If one starts thinking!
This Helga, how young she used to be
And such a splendid surprise
How time goes fast as blinking!
At her birth she was at most half the size.
All children grow, so does Helga here
Playing in the small flat
The potty rail she steer
And the sun was shining so gay
And the blackbird sang keen
when to go to school with his daughter father was seen
And then she plays Pianino, read the notes on the clock –
(when she said it would be Schubert, the only thing it was, was unfinished symphony’s block)
In Westphalia’s Children House, Helga liked the little boys…
And the little trees and bushes and the birds that were making their noise
“Kaning”-bicycles are useful.
More useful is a motorbike – !
“AWRO”- Cars are the best,
(if you have so many in front of you as you like.)….
because on top of every page,
You find old names in alphabetical order,
And that is to praise in any age!
But this is how it goes:
When a lady
Glanced at all the letters in turn
To the first letter she will return!
Hilahi! holaho! hi hihihihihi!
And there he stands, and he shines and finally he sits,
And his name is starts with the call of joy “A” from the list!
Look, there she sits – she is moved to tears, that’s good mother
For that a real and normal man, hi-jacks her little daughter, no other…
The good sister – (it is good manners that also she is mentioned here for you to see)
She thinks deep inside: Look there – and who kisses me?
Good Father – well, I apologize for forgetting him until now
He thinks at the times, when he sat out for dinner with his Frau
Coffee party at home,
(home sweet home)
Helga blotted in caffeine, she is squeaking and thinks it is “screamingly funny” by her own
And now we all
Hope we will
That the live and roll
Of those two uphill
With joy will be full
Cheerfulness and beauty in their life will rule!
On the 8.11.1941 Marion and her father Georg deported to Minsk Concentration camp.Georg will be hanged immediately at the entrance to the camp.
1942 in Minsk Concentration camp: This story is from the testimonial of Heinz Rosenberg, a prisoner in the camp:
“In Minsk, Marion painted a welcome sign.
adolf rübe, the sadist commander, saw the sign and asked who painted it.
Marion came forward. He said that jew cannot paint beautifully, took her to the woods and shot her”
Later in his trials, he claimed that he shot her because she stole the colors for the sign.
“alleged theft after a painting by this sign had caught his attention”
Roli, her brother, survived the war but died in the death march of 1945 outside of Auschwitz.
Helga, in Israel, gave birth to 6 children
“One for each million”
One of these children is my father.