1938 was a critical year, a year that marked the beginning of the end. This year, Roli and Helga are exchanging leters. The stories range between a Hachsara camp, full of hope and faith near Berlin, isolated from the rest of the country, and the difficult life in Palestine. At the same time, Hamburg, Georg and his daughter Marion experienced what would later become the beginning of the Holocaust of European Jewry.
At the same time, Helga, who is already in Israel, is trying to use her husband’s relatives, to collect money and return to Germany. This may sound insane in retrospect, trying to return to Germany in 1938, but apparently they had a very difficult time in Tel Aviv, Failing in an attempt to return and thanks to that failure, in fact, they are saved from the fate that awaited the Jews of Germany. Because of that failure, we exist, as a family.
On November 10th, the events of Kristallnacht take place. About 30,000 Jews are taken to the camps for “punishment”. This is, in fact, the first attempt by the Nazis to concentrate Jews in labor camps and to torture them. They are beaten and tortured.
Georg, the father of the family, was in the fifth warehouse in the port of Hamburg. Meat dealer. In November 1938, he was hospitalized at Eppendorf Hospital with a problem in the hands, apparently chronic infection. Before the discharge, the doctors tell him that it is going to be a difficult event for the Jews in the city and offer him to stay in the hospital for another week to protect him.
Georg wants to be released, apparently, because he does not want to leave Marion, his daughter, alone at home.
On Kristallnacht, he was arrested. He was taken to the Sachsenhausen camp in Berlin. Apparently, the Nazis had prepared lists, and the rich and important were taken first, all with the aim of breaking the Jewish population and making it flee from Germany.
Georg was taken to the camp and tortured there. For about six weeks he stays in the place before returning home.
He returns with severe problems in his hands, the incontinence worsens and severe frostbite is added to it. The doctors want to cut his hands but he somehow survives it.
At this time, Rolly hears that his father was taken to “punished”. He grabs the train from Berlin to Hamburg out of concern for his sister Marion who was left alone. He goes into an empty house, sits down and writes on the typewriter one of the most chilling reporters.
Immediately after Kristallnacht, Marion is fired from her job.
When George returns he tries to help Merrion leave for Amsterdam to meet a groom. It is unclear what the request is, whether Marion knew the man her father had intended for her, but it is clear that they are quickly trying to arrange for Marion to leave Hamburg.
They try everything. At this stage, it is still possible to purchase from the Nazis a permit to leave for Palestine. But for the purpose of obtaining approval requires a large sum of money, only from non-residents. They ask Helga to help them obtain the permit, but she also has no money. For this and for the telegrams that were sent between them in this post, in their center, the only and most terrible sentence of all “save, only you can help Daddy” -a help that Helga could not provide, which she regretted and hurt, of course, until the day of her death.
Next: Roly writes from the training camp