What am I doing this evening besides writing this article? I have opened a large box of chocolates (one of my Christmas presents) and am washing them down with my usual red Merlot wine. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it works for me and I feel much more cheerful. Why rather “down”? I am disappointed about Brexit and felt really sad at watching the TV programme about Auschwitz.
After living in France for 21 years I have many wonderful friends there. Victoria is one of my cherished ones, I met her when we lived on the Port of Bormes-les-Mimosas. Having descended in the lift to the harbourside to buy a baguette, I saw this lady sitting on a bench and crying. I asked her if I could help, and to cut a long story short, she came back with me and shared our dinner. Tears turned to laughter and we became firm friends.
When my husband Ron sadly died in Nice, four of my friends in France invited me to their homes and I accepted Victoria’s invitation. I lived with her in Paris for six months. During this time we shared many memories and I heard about her time in Auschwitz. She had a number tattoed on her arm as did her sister Renée. Their parents died in a gas chamber, but thank God the three children survived. After the rescue, they were installed in a luxurious hotel in Paris. Amazingly, Victoria said this was their most frightening time, they felt alone and abandoned. Luckily an Uncle came to fetch them.
Victoria is now blind, but we talk on the telephone. She lives with her family in Paris because ex-holocaust Jews get a higher pension if they live there. They also don’t have to queue in places like post offices!
I pray that anything as horrible as Auschwitz never happens again.
Peace be with you,