Good morning, I have come to visit you today to share with you my experiences from my earlier years as a young Jewish woman during the Holocaust. As many of you should already know, the Holocaust occurred during the late-thirties to mid-forties and brought the persecution of millions of European Jews. During class, you would have learnt about World War II, Nazis and many of the horrors of the Holocaust such as the concentration camps and gas chambers and I am here to help you achieve a greater understanding of what it was like for me and my family.
Life in Germany when I was growing up had always been full of cultural and historical tradition, and I was proud of my Jewish ancestry. I felt safe in my country and Jews such as myself were well integrated into German society. I grew up in a small mostly Jewish neighbourhood and had much in common with many of my friends.
Things were very good then, if only it could have remained that way.
My father David managed a small store nearby and my mother stayed home to care for myself and my two older brothers Francis and Johannes. Unfortunately my mother passed away when I was only ten years old, shortly after giving birth to my younger sister Greta, leaving me to take care of my family. I stopped attending classes and taught myself to cook and sew, but it was very hard without my mother there. I had never experienced any racism towards me and didnÃÂt fully understand the term until I had reached my teenage years.
The persecution began when Hitler assumed the chancellorship of Germany in 1933 and it still pains me today to mention his name. There was a one-day boycott declared against all Jewish shops...