The book consists primarily of excerpts from memoirs and letters written by the children whose parents sent them from Germany and Austria, often by circuitous routes, to Jewish foster families across the United States. They present moving first-hand, child-centered views of life in the small towns of central Europe in the s, the terror of Kristallnacht, the tearing apart of families for the sake of young lives, and life in wartime America as a young refugee This is a valuable addition to high school Holocaust collections.
Library Media Connection. It comes alive in this first anthology of memoirs of the only unaccompanied children rescued by America from the Holocaust. It describes in detail the youngsters, their rescuers and the acceptance and generosity of the strangers who took them in. It is a story of hope and triumph spanning three continents, two oceans and 12 years. It is important because it offers the words of the children from personal diaries and letters. After Bulus left, I dreamed I had an all-night argument with Zygus. Maybe I will be unhappy. But am I ready to give up on my dream?
It was his birthday today. I gave him a collection of poems and he was so touched! He said for us to survive this war without splitting up. Do I want that, too? How good that he understands this. Poems connect souls and elevate love.
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God, thank you and may my dreams come true. They are closing our quarter; they are moving people out of town; there are persecutions, unlawfulness. How can you be in love for 18 months? Everything is real, pulsating, seething with life and love and youth.
I feel as though I were riding a chariot or racing into the wind and rain. I might dissolve in my own tenderness, my own affection. Today I was really ready to strangle him, but what would I do then? Stupid, mad, wonderful dreams! May Some miles from Przemysl, in Treblinka, Nazis order the construction of an extermination camp. In the two years Nazis operate it, , to , people will be killed there.
I spent the day with Nora today. Her attitude toward love is light, while mine is serious. She says that will make me unhappy. After our conversation, I was exhausted and had a headache. And this ghetto, this situation, this war Some kind of fever has taken over the city. The specter of the ghetto has returned. Lord, forgive me. But my soul was so embittered that I felt like maybe that would be for the best.
Mamma writes us that children are being taken away into forced labor. She told me to pack. She wants to be with us and at the same time she wants to send Daddy an official letter asking for divorce. They will never patch it up.
One Thousand Children
Her husband will be a stranger. And Daddy wrote to me that he was not sure if he would ever see me again! Daddy, you are an unlucky Jew, just like me, locked away in the ghetto. Holy God, can you save me? Can you save them? All of them. Oh, please, work a miracle! Life is so miserable. But my heart still fills with sorrow, when I think What awaits us in the future? Oh, God Almighty! I had a good, filling dinner—and I feel so terrible. And Zygus? You might even have more children.
And Mamma, so dear, will be with some man who is a stranger to me. The man I will be with will be a stranger to her. Life brings people together and then separates them. Yesterday Z. I feel like his little daughter and I like it oh so much! Something has been bothering me terribly the last few days. I know she doubts whether Z. I know it; I can feel it. And Zygus sometimes says something without realizing it and it hurts me so badly.
Sometimes, when it bothers me too much, I think about running away. That would mean giving up my soul.
When Z. Such a shame the month is about to pass. The nights are filled with stars. Now I know what the word ecstasy means. For the first time, I felt this longing to become one, to be one body and To bite and kiss and squeeze until blood shows. And Zygus talked about a house and a car and about being the best man for me. June Some 5, Jews from several other Polish towns are deported to Przemysl. I desire with every tiny bit of my body, my thoughts, my imagination.
Even the most innocent book stirs me up. Ah, I struggle with such disgusting dreams. My greed for life makes me fierce. Nora and I went for a long walk deep into the quarter and we talked. She was the first person I told.
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I realized that burden was what had been tormenting me. I felt at peace. Wherever I look, there is bloodshed. Such terrible pogroms. There is killing, murdering. God Almighty, for the umpteenth time I humble myself in front of you, help us, save us! Lord God, let us live, I beg You, I want to live! Panic in the city. We fear a pogrom; we fear deportations. Oh God Almighty! Help us! Take care of us; give us your blessing.
Don't Wave Goodbye by Philip K. Jason and Iris Posner, Editors - Praeger - ABC-CLIO
We will persevere, Zygus and I, please let us survive the war. Take care of all of us, of the mothers and children. June 18, The Gestapo rounds up more than 1, Jewish men in Przemysl and sends them to the Janowska labor camp. God saved Zygus. They were taking people away all night long. They rounded up 1, boys.
There are so many victims, fathers, mothers, brothers. Forgive us our trespasses, listen to us, Lord God!