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Letter #


Sala Garncarz




Friday. Ala always finds a spot for poor me next to her… Nobody to share my sorrow. Never before did I miss my beloved family.

Full Translation

FRIDAY The day was uneventful except that we were assigned to another room, an unpleasant change for me, since the four of us were hoping to stay together in our little room. Well, after all, it’s not for us to decide. We will have to get used to the faces of still more new strangers. I also worry about the bed since, while I was away dressing, beds were set up and no space was left for me to be with my beloved Ala. I had to agree to take the bunk under Ala, but so far, I have not slept in it, because Ala always finds a spot for poor me next to her. She always takes me in. Now the traditional Friday evening approaches, time for the family to be together, and for closeness to uplift the soul. That day finds me now far away from home. I suddenly realize where I am, and I know that whether this is Friday or not, I shall not eat with all of you at the same table, and will not hear my beloved father say “Kiddush.” No, I cannot be with you because I am in a barrack in a camp! Something moves me, but there is nobody here near me, so I have to hope that Ala will be back from the office soon. Yet my thoughts are with you; could you feel my nearness to you? And so I walked around like a lunatic for I had nobody to share my sorrow, nor anybody to console me as I cried my eyes out, finding it hard to breathe; it was stifling. Never before did I miss you so much, beloved parents, and my dear girls! Sala! Today I was not with you when prayers were said. I did not hear Szymek say “Kaddish.” Oh, my dearest ones! Did you remember me just then? I will find out when we are together again. Ala just arrived; I feel relieved. Would you believe that I could not tell her all that I was feeling? I prefer to write things down, since I don’t know how to talk about such matters. Still, her presence is good for me for it helped me to fall asleep here in Geppersdorf, while my thoughts were with you. SATURDAY I woke up thinking that I was drunk. Do you know why? Because just a week ago today, I was actually drunk after drinking beer on Friday. You drank to my health and for me to remain home, but I am one stubborn girl, no? I have to admit that I was a bit tipsy, but it won’t happen again. Today we work only until 12 o’clock. Something new happened. As I was sitting on my bed writing, SM came in. He said, “Get your coat, we are going to the movies.: I was amazed and I took it for a joke. But, an order is an order, so I put on my coat and beret and together with Ester and the boy, we all went out. He took us to the Gasthouse [?[]and we helped him to do some dusting. They were very nice to us there, and they gave us some beer. It warmed us since it’s quite cold. Then we went back to our house and brought back cigarettes for our boys. SUNDAY Today is our holiday. From early morning, there is much activity, and no wonder. One wants to outdo the other. I personally do not feel joyful, even though this is supposed to be our holiday. Estera and I started cleaning: we made all beds, washed the floor. Unfortunately, even today Ala has no free time because there is work to be done in the office. In the afternoon: my conscience bothers me because while Ala was working in the office I did something ridiculous. Music was playing, so I danced with Kati. When Hela invited a boy, I quickly stopped, and soon everybody gathered near my door. Suddenly, Ala appeared, walking in her steady, manly way, and everybody moved over. I am so proud that everyone respects her and pays attention to her; now I feel guilty because I hurt her. Might I lose her because of it? It would be a terrible blow to me. We go to sleep and when I am near her, I feel good again and blissful. Our conversation resumed on the same subject we so often talk about. I told her about my doubts, my desire to see and experience everything, and I related a lot about myself so that she could understand and forgive my behavior today, which was caused by my youth and inexperience. I think she understood and she forgave me. She is so sweet, and so strong….It is so wonderful to be with my Aluchna, so wonderful. MONDAY S. Amoun (?) came in the evening and seeing a German-Polish grammar book on the table started reading the Polish part. I had a good laugh. Later that evening, I went for a walk with Leib, and he told me more about himself and about Rozia. We shook hands to seal our friendship. This boy suffered a lot because he had to fight with his parents about Rozia, and just as they were ready to give him permission to marry, this new misfortune befell us. Oh, what wonderful dreams he has for the future! Rozia, Rozia, you should know that even at night, he keeps repeating your name; he has no better subject for conversation than you. You, Rozia, should be happy. At night in the bunk, Ala read to me the letter she wrote home, in which she mentioned me. That made me very glad. The world is moaning, life is terrible, and there is much to lament. Is it any surprise that I am seeing people’s misfortune, their sufferings and in justices done them? The world is complaining, and there is a void around us. Now the winds are blowing hard; what are you bringing us -- your madman? Will it be fair weather or foul weather? Will there be quiet or turmoil? Time to start working. Ala left for the office, while the wind picked up speed and became more mournful. A hubbub arose as everyone started running toward the square and onto the roofs to tie things down. Panic broke out and everybody got scared, some girls started crying. We have some sick ones who need to be consoled. __________________ ___________________________ _____________ everybody promises something _____________ __________________ S. Amon showing __________ says that this girl is clean, which meant that he was almost glad about that. Fani Czarne looked at me and she asked for my home address, so I asked her to tell them at home the best news about me. When she said goodbye, she shook my hand. They left. In the afternoon, a small blow: 120 workers are being sent out. Kaia [Raia?] is fearful that someone among her relatives or friends will be sent away. POEM Just look at us, tired and exhausted And how our hearts are bleeding. Where are our elderly parents, Who because of the intolerable conditions for prayer, allow their life to be poisoned. So let it all be enough For You to take off our burden, Let us hope and be certain That soon our parents and family will be one with us That is the essence of our hope.

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