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Violinist

I love my violin.

I practice and practice

after school each day.

I dream of being

a concert violinist

in a long white dress,

my hair swept up and back

into a silver chignon

with silver high-heeled shoes to match.

My brother is at the piano

and we imagine ourselves

playing in Vienna.,

the Barcarolle from

Tales of Hoffmann,

A soloist at our side.

 

Of course, not now

but after the war.

After the Nazis leave,

after we reclaim my violin,

hidden away for safe-keeping,

and his piano

my parents had to leave behind

when we children left for England

away from the coming horror

and they were forced to live

in another German town

and could not take

their things.

 

But we will come back

and play music again,

Won’t we?

 

After the war…..

Always after……

Yellow Star

It is September 30, 1936

I am 12 years old today.
I have received a yellow star pin

for my accomplishments in gymnastics.

 

I am proud to wear it.

 

It is April, 1937

We hear about a new law

declared by the Nazis that soon

all Jewish people

must sew a yellow star

on their clothing

for everyone to see.

 

 

This is not a good thing.

 

It has not happened in our

part of Germany yet

but we hear it is coming to us

from east to west.

 

I hide my yellow star pin.

 

It means something different now.

Fortunate One

Everyone says I am fortunate.

“Lucky,” they say.

“You were lucky.”

“You got away when others did not.”

“You and your brother escaped

The Nazi terrors.”

“You were so lucky

to be sent to England

to live where it was safe.”

 

Was it luck that put me, a Jewish girl,

   in Mainz Germany on

      Kristallnacht?

Was it luck that only my father

   was arrested and sent to

   Buchenwald?

Was it luck that got me a seat 

   on a train bound for the Dutch coast

   then on to English shores

where Nazi bombs fell day and night?

Was it luck that guided my life for 7 ½ years

   separated from the only life

   I had ever known

        and loved?

 

Yes, maybe I was fortunate

all those years ago.

But, had I not been a Jewish girl 

living in 1939 Nazi Germany  

I would not have needed

all this ‘luck’

for my very

Survival.

 

 

Margot Hanau’s Tale

In April 2015 I had the opportunity to meet and interview Margot Hanau who, as a young girl, survived the Holocaust by being sent to England, along with her brother, by her parents via ‘der Kindertransport.’

She, her parents and brother lived in Mainz Germany during the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party before they were able to escape. Margot’s first-hand experiences bring to life this period of darkness that over-swept Europe and threatened the peace of the entire world.

One of the stories Margot told me was how she and her brother Erich played –on violin and piano – the Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann in the mid-1930s. So I titled my book “Margot Hanau’s Tale.”

Stories collected on March 28th and 29th 2015 which became the basis for “Margot Hanau’s Tale” written by Margot Hanau and Patricia Carley

“Kindertransport  from Germany to England, 1939”

Margot Jungermann Hanau greets me at the door of her apartment on Long Island, New York. She is a petite lady with soft gray hair framing her sweet face. She takes my hand in hers while looking into my eyes with her own faded blue ones. She welcomes me into her comfortable, spacious living room which overlooks a pond in the middle of her apartment complex.

I wonder, briefly, if anything of her current living arrangements reminds her of her early life in Germany and England. She seems happy to be near the water.

 

As we settle in, I ask Margot a few background questions such as her date of birth; place of birth; parents’ names and occupations. She lists off the answers and soon begins to speak about her life as a Jewish-German girl in the mid-1930s as Hitler and the Nazis begin their rise to power and initiate the systematic elimination of  Jews and other ‘undesirables’. 

Her eyes take on a faraway look as she travels through her memories of nearly 80 years ago. For me this is history I read in a book for school.  For Margot it is but yesterday.

 It is her life story.

 

 Following, is a collection of Margot’s reminiscences  interwoven with historical background  that bring to life ‘Der Kinderstransport’ or the exodus of 10,000 mostly Jewish-German children to England in the early years of what history calls World War II.

More Comfort Books

‘10 Secrets For success and Inner Peace’ is really no secret at all

Give up what I think I know and trust my inner soul

Reading ‘The Tao of Healing’ gave me the strength to roll

With my parents’ and son’s hospital stays

The wisdom of ‘The Tao of Women’ leads me along a different Way

The animals in the ‘Medicine Cards’ are my guiding Spirits each day

As are the wise words written in the ‘Numerology Guide’

What is my fortune today?

 

Comfort Books

Many people have ‘comfort foods’, but I have comfort books. They have helped me get through some difficult times.

 

The ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ watches over me from book and wall

I am reminded by The Giver’ it is a blessing to receive as well

Edna in The Awakening’ becomes a woman true to her inner soul

The ‘Poisonwood Bible’ does not preach but has a riveting tale to tell

Of Africa and American missionaries who become the real ones saved

And, in the end, ‘The Alchemist’ turns into Gold the tattered lives of all.