Escaping from Germany

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Memories of Childhood / Memories of Yesteryears


I am ten years old, a newcomer in America, when my playmate sings “Oka, boka stona crocka, ocka bocka boo, if your father chews tobacco, he’s a dirty Jew (as she plays ball while bouncing her ball on the cement sidewalk near her house)!”  “Du bist ein Jud, du bist ein Sau Jud,” suddenly seems to come from nowhere into my mind. The saying by the Nazis rang in my ears: “Wenn’s Judenblut vom Messer spritzt dann geht’s noch mal so gut” (when Jewish blood pours from the knife, life will be twice as good”). My mind has returned to the Nazis.   I am locked into a vacant room; my toy taken from me; I am hungry, have nothing to eat; no one comes to open the door; it is dark, I am very very frightened.” I remember a very dirty man riding an old bicycle into the bottom of the stairs of a house where I lived, I was nine years old; he grabbed me by my waist, pulled my pants from under my dress and maneuvered his penis into my genitals while with the other hand stuffing a dirty handkerchief into my mouth so I could not speak.  I am very frightened, fighting to get my breath.  I am fighting for air which seemed not to come. No one is there to help me, I am all alone!    

My mind wanders: My mother and my siblings stand in line to walk from Germany to Belgium.  We are examined by a German to determine if we have any possessions which must be left behind.  We must leave without a cent to disappear from “Deutschland” and leave our very last pennies behind.  A Jewish man that searched for his passport is killed on the spot in front of me, since he rightfully accused the German Nazi killer of possibly having removed it from his pocket.  I am very frightened.  The Gestapo examines our bodies from head to foot.  Fortunately they found nothing of any worth on our beings.  They let us go! We have a moment of relief as we leave the German soil!  My mother is ill! She clutches on to her two year old son, our brother, with my thirteen year old sister and myself staying very close to her as we go step by step out of the Nazi land where we were born and rejected and discarded! We prayed silently to get out of the hand of the Nazis that were waiting to kill us.  We thanked “Haschem” for protecting us and asked somehow to succeed in finding our way to America to be with our beloved father. At the railroad station in Belgium, two Belgian soldiers gave us bread and coffee to stop our hunger.  It was the best delicacy that we had eaten in days.  Our poor mother was so feverish she no longer felt any urge to eat.

It was a miracle that we were taken to a Jewish congregation who found us and fed us with other Jewish escapees.  They protected us and cared for us until we traveled to London, England.  There a wonderful single lady gave us her home to sleep in, fed us, and eventually made certain that we were brought to Southampton, where our ship, the SS Washington, was waiting to leave for our America, the land of our future! The land of our dreams!  We squeezed unto the enormous boat and slept on the floor of the beloved vessel with other escapees that were fortunate enough to escape the gas ovens, the guns, the beatings, and the annihilations of our Jewish brethren.  After many difficult but happy days we saw our beloved father, as he opened his arms to welcome us to our new life, to poverty, and to freedom!  We were saved.  “Haschem” had protected us and spared our lives, our existence.  We were spared from the fate of the six million Jewish souls that were killed by Hitler and his Nazi murderers, who enjoyed the destruction of our relatives, our families, our helpless, beloved, innocent souls.

We will always and forever remember the terrors, the fears, the “Angst” that we suffered; we will always be cautious in our beliefs, our actions, and our feelings of security.


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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