Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


“Spahr Fur Die Gefahr, Fur Die Grauen Haar, Denn Das Geld Ist Rahr, Spahr, Spahr”


The above statement is a memorable saying, an advice which has a serious meaning (Save for possible danger, for aging, when your hair turns gray, because money is rare, save, save!”) There are not enough young people who are concerned about the future and their financial state, or their possible poverty, if they are careless with their income.

As we know, money can do much for us.  It is essential for human beings to cover their necessities,  their food, clothing, and more.  It can pay for our education, our well being, medication, physician visits, etc.

It is the foolish person who lives only for the moment.  Such a person buys items that he can not afford, items that are unnecessary, special delicacies that are not essential to live a healthy life, and much more.  These spenders want to satisfy their instant wishes rather than their absolute needs.  They do not think of the tomorrows, the future when emergencies may occur and they have little or nothing to help them have enough money when direly needed.

Those of us who have lived at the time in and of the Holocaust know how important it was to have some money stashed away enable us to get out of the country in time before we would have been murdered.  The majority of our people were robbed of their last penny.  They did not have the money to buy food for their children, let alone to buy tickets to escape.  They were left to die! Their money was stolen mercilessly by the Nazis (the majority of the Germans were cruel Jew hating people). Jews were forbidden to buy groceries even if they had a few hidden “Marken.” Well hidden money helped an infinitessimal Jewish minority to escape (they frequently also needed some underground escape routes and connections).  “Scheckels,” known as “Geld,” helped to make an early escape; Courage alone did not help them to pay bribes and essentials. The fortunate last minute escapees needed to pay “tolls” to escape from one country to another; they needed money for passports, pictures for identity purposes, sometimes bribes, and much more. 

Those folks that were penniless, and there were too many, became victims of Hitler.  Time and forethought was needed to escape, as was intelligence, luck, and money.  Without cash, the Jewish people were victims of the strongest psychopathic killer on earth in our allegedly modern world. To have a very slight chance to survive without being found took foresight, courage, and faith!  To escape “underground” in time, foresight was needed and much, much more.  You had to go into places where you could not speak the language and face unbelievable situations.  Many had to leave their loved ones behind, not knowing if they would ever be seen again!

There is much more to say!  Those few who escaped were never “normal.”  They lived in an inner fear and strangeness that cannot be described here.  They will always feel unwanted because of their language problem in the new strange world in which they escaped.  They never have the feeling that they are wanted and welcomed.

As fellow Jews, remember not to judge the feeling and acts of the few escapees from the Holocaust, and realize you do not really understand them nor do you know their sufferings, their need to be wanted, to be careful about their thoughts or actions.  Had you been in their position, would you not have saved and hidden your resources, unnecessary enjoyments, expensive clothing, and costly noticeable jewelry?  Had you not, you would not have been able to escape.  Great “friends” from the “Vaterland” were greedy “Judenhasser” (haters of the Jewish people) who did not care one iota about you and they were happy to report you and your alleged circumstances to the “head of the Vaterland" (land of their fathers).  They did not help their Jewish neighbors and stole whatever they could when these poor human beings disappeared.  The dangers and fears that the tiny number of Jewish people experienced who escaped is unimaginable.  Those that were caught were publicly tortured, beaten mercilessly, harmed physically beyond imagination.  If they lived somehow through the inhumane beatings they were shot on sight or thrown into the gas ovens with their fellow Jews by the sadistic Germans, who thoroughly enjoyed the deadly tortures that they performed!!! 


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

Home ] Up ]