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Bringing Him Back

As told to Rayzel Reich by her grandfather Mr. Efraim Reich

“Taaaaaty!” four-year-old Duvid called. “There’s a lady on the phone for you!” I picked up the extension in my room. “I got it. Thank you!” “Froyim?” The voice on the other end was that of a middle-aged woman, flavored with the familiar accent of my mother tongue. I knew that voice. “Martel?” “Yes, it’s me!” The voice was joyous. “How are you?”

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I remembered Martel from my pre-bar mitzvah days. She was Itche’s big sister. Itche Solomon was my best friend. We went everywhere together, did everything together. I had vague memories of his two “old” half sisters getting married and leaving Dembitz to go to Israel with their new husbands. I remembered the excitement when they came back to visit. Their last visit had been soon after my bar mitzvah. Right before the war broke out.

“Martel and Anna are leaving early,” Itche told me the news one day. “They think there will really be a war, and they want to get out before it starts.” How disappointing, to have their visit cut short.

We hugged their cute children goodbye and watched them get in the carriage that would take them to the train station.

Martel and Anna left for Israel just in time. They made it.

Itche and his family didn’t.

 

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