Uncle Joe

Back to what was happening. I started to pack after my uncle's third message and was also able to secure a carriage to take both Vera and me to the ghetto. My uncle and cousins there handled me so gently as if I were made of china and when I looked into the mirror I understood why. I did look like as if I'd just come from an asylum.


Polish Jews rounded up, on display in Krakow, Poland 1939


After resting for a few hours, during which no less than three doctors came by to help me, I almost felt normal again. Then Nelly showed up. Even in the ghetto she played the grand dame, gentle and ever so nice. She went on to tell me such stupidity that it actually made me laugh. She explained that I should have stayed back at the Tutura warehouse, because my uncle ought to have brought your mother back instead of me. I took the liberty of pointing out that Joe and Ann happened to be relatives of mine, not my beloved mother in law's; and even if they didn't love me they certainly loved my mother; and it was just too kind of her to be so generous at someone else's expense. Why, she'd be more than willing to act so unselfishly, wouldn't she? Her answer was animated protest - her nerves, you know, she couldn't expose herself to that. At the end Francis, who was just as kind as ever, came and took her away, thank God. This whole episode made me so agitated again that during my first night in the Egerszeg ghetto uncle Joe had to nurse me along, by putting a cold compress over my heart.


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