Every year in December the Abners celebrated the Festival of Lights known as Chanukah. It is a holiday which lasts for eight days. A candle is lit on the first night of the holiday and for eight nights an additional candle is lit until there are nine candles, one for every evening of the holiday and an extra one which acts as the servant light. The family would gather around the table and play “dreydel”, a sort of top which has Hebrew letters on four sides. The player gets a number of walnuts, depending on which side the dreydel lands. He who gets the most is the winner and can eat them all.

The last Chanukah that the Abners were together the parents bought a pair of ice skates for their daughters to share. Droozy loved looking at those shiny steel blades and pictured herself gliding majestically on the ice, or watching her sister do the same. It was the year when Droozy was eight and her sister ten. Shortly after that holiday the children’s beloved father escaped to America. Because Droozy’s Mama did not yet have an affidavit to go along they had to stay behind.

Mrs. Abner moved to Breslau with her daughters and her infant son to be with her sister Mathilde.  Droozy’s two boy cousins also lived in their apartment with them. The cousins hid since they knew that Hitler’s soldiers would come and throw them into prison, known as a concentration camp, or would even kill them by sending them to a gas oven because of their Jewish religion.

Droozy was very frightened because she knew what would happen if her cousins were found by the Nazis (Hitler’s soldiers).

       Frau Schmidt, the manager of the apartment house where Droozy and her family now lived, came to knock on the door one day and demanded that Droozy give her the ice skates, the children’s very last toy. When neither Droozy nor her sister would give them up, Mrs. Schmidt became very angry. She shouted in a screaming loud voice that should they continue to refuse she would notify the Nazi soldiers that the cousins were hiding and exactly where she believed they were.  Droozy knew instantly that this would mean severe punishment for her beloved mother, aunt, her cousins, her baby brother, her sister and herself. The little brother was crying as if he sensed what was happening. With a trembling hand Droozy’s mother gave those shiny silver skates to the woman. Mama comforted her daughters by telling them that people were more important than things. It was a sad day for the family because they knew that many more frightening things were awaiting them.

Cousin Martin escaped on skis out of Germany while cousin Maurice was found and taken to a concentration camp where he was beaten every day; given very little spoiled food and kept in that prison for many weeks. He eventually got out and escaped to Sweden, a country in Europe.

Droozy and her sister would forever remember those horrible times.  They began the day that they “lost” their ice skates.

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author