The Jewish War and The Victory (Jewish Lives) by Henryk Grynberg
By Henryk Grynberg
A kid's story of survival and parental sacrifice.
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Extra info for The Jewish War and The Victory (Jewish Lives)
I’ll see to it that he gets food, don’t worry. ” So for the time being Mother went alone to look around, as Father put it, and he took me into hiding with a peasant family. The peasant’s wife had consumption and was extremely thin. She never got up from her bed and waited for the spring, when most consumptive people die, as for salvation. She would ask me to sit by her bed, so that she could see me better, and then used to say, “Look how thin I am,” producing her barely alive bones from under the eiderdown to convince me.
Insisted the blacksmith. 44 t h e j e w i s h wa r Mother had to be careful of every word, every gesture. Now it was no longer a question of walking in the street with head high or smiling at Germans in a tram. Now one had to be among people all the time. Talk to them, listen to them, eat with them, go to sleep and get up, pray, fast, and feast with them, be seen wherever they went, because people don’t like those who keep apart, and talk a lot, because people don’t like those who are silent and always suspect them of something.
In the 29 30 t h e j e w i s h wa r last place I had been, one only met people in exceptional circumstances, and here there were so many, and one did not have to be afraid of them. Mother was walking next to me and even smiling. But her smile was of the kind I could still remember from the days when we went visiting. Thus, we must be visiting here, I thought. Immediately after she brought me to the apartment—where luckily no one was in—Mother made a big ﬁre, warmed a cauldron of water, and then stood me in the cauldron and poured kerosene on my head because there were more lice than hair on it; this was what had made her so frightened when I had embraced her in the cafe´.