Sunday, September 24, 2006
Die gesichte von meine Mutter.
My mother is the shortest one in the bunch. Also the one with the highest heel shoes. I call this photo "Fleeing The Nazi's in High Heel Shoes".
In 1936 the persecution of Jews was reaching a crescendo and many were attempting to flee to a place where their lives would simply not be in danger. Some had made the proper arrangements in other countries that would allow them imigrate. Others were not so lucky and felt locked in spiraling despair. My Mother were one of the ones who had no relatives in America or contacts to help her make the preparations for a journey to survival and freedom.
One day while accompanying a friend to a boat in Hamburg that was going to take this girl to NYC. They both felt that they may never see eachother again. It was a moment that many could only imagine. A friend took the above photo for a memory. I am sharing it with all of you.
As her friend was boarding and my Mother was tearfully waving goodbye she was approached by a middle aged man who spoke German like a foreigner. He asked if my Mother had any made any plans to leave Germany. She said no and he explained that he is an American Lawyer and he would help her. He took all the necessary contact information and said that he would see what he could. He would be soon be in touch. He was the last person to walk up the platform before the boat launched the harbor. She watched the big ship leave the Hamburg docks and with plumes of exhaust become a dot on the horizon. Her best friend is sailing away and with her a stranger who sparked some hope.
In this case time passes slowly. The political situation in Germany grows more severe everyday. It was frighening to walk on the streets. He Uncles shoe store had its windows broken. All the shoes were removed and he no longer felt safe to open the store to make a living. My Mother was a religious woman and I can still feel her daily prayers as she asked for help from above.
The Stranger was serious and when he arrived back in his NYC Park Ave office he was busy contacting embassies and writing documents until he obtained a Visa for my Mother to come to NYC. As required he arranged for her to have a job providing a means of support. When my Mother arrived on these shores she immediatley started to work as a live in Nanny for a family on West End Ave. I remember my Mother telling me the story. The little girl she took care of was aptly named Faith.
Later on in years My Mom took me to meet the man responsible for bringing my Mother to America. She proudly introduced me to Murray Sprung her benefactor who never asked for anything in return.
I think that this was one of the proudest and happiest moments of my Mothers life.