Mrs. Abner and her children
were on the train moving out of Cologne. It seemed to be traveling at a rapid
pace, with its whistle blowing making that comforting sound that soon would
bring the family to its destination. Soon the conductor came around with his
black hat and black uniform asking for tickets. With a trembling hand Sophie
pulled out the four tickets that she had purchased only moments before, and
handed them to the conductor. He asked a few questions and moved on to the next
passenger. The train cars were made up of compartments, like small rooms with
doors dividing each room. In each compartment there were two benches facing each
other, each holding from six to eight travelers. It seemed very comfortable,
except for the fact that the Abner family were very quiet, lest they would be
recognized as Jews, “the enemies of the Reich” (empire) whose plan was to
the Abners’ destination would be reached. It was the border town of Aachen,
the last city before Belgium. All three children were wide awake when the
conductor called out “Aachen, Aachen, next
stop for Aachen.” After quickly stepping off the train, the family walked into
a government building to present their passports and visas so that they could
leave the country by way of Belgium. Many Jewish people were lined up in rows
while Nazi men looked at each person, examined their bodies and their papers and
then let them walk the small distance into Belgium. One Jewish man could not
find his wallet with his papers. He panicked, became very anxious and loudly
wondered what could have happened to his things. One Nazi took his rifle and
beat the man on the head with it shouting: “Are you accusing us of stealing
your wallet, you dirty Jew?” Before the man could answer he had beaten him
into unconsciousness. The man fell to the ground, blood spurting from his
fractured skull. Droozy was frightened to death. She couldn’t speak; she moved
forward as if in a trance. The Nazi then examined her body. He felt all around,
including between her thights. The
child was upset, frightened and embarrassed but she moved silently on to the
other side and to freedom. Fanny, Benjy and mother followed.
soon as they stepped on Belgian soil they all breathed deep sighs of relief.
They got on a Belgian train and headed for the big city of Brussels. Although
they were happy, they were all tired and Mama had a bad sore throat and a fever,
as did little Benjy.
four Abners got off the train in Brussels and sat down on a bench in the train
station. While there Droozy revealed her dangerous secret. She had kept two
German dollars (Marks) and had stuffed them into her shoe. Although her mother
was happy that they had at least two dollars, she let Droozy know that she and
all of her family could have been killed had the Nazis discovered the dollars.
No Jew was allowed to take any money or any possessions except the clothing they
wore and their passports out of Germany.
two young Belgian soldiers came to the bench where the Abners were resting and
asked whether they could help in any way. They then took Fanny and Droozy to a
food counter for something to eat. There they bought the girls big mugs of
delicious steaming coffee and the best white bread with thick crusts that they
had ever eaten. The soldiers also gave them each two big chocolate bars to take
back to their mother and brother. These two men were angels who were never
forgotten by Droozy and her family.
waiting for the next train to take them to England, the family met Mr.
They felt safe at last, but
now they had a long way to go before they would reach