“WHOSE CHILD ARE YOU?”
SS troops are blocking Shenkin Street, assembling machineguns, wearing shiny helmets.
King George is blocked by gendarmes. Unrolling barbed wire. Aktion. Rounding up Jews.
“Escape”, Father whispers.
I’m listening to another concert in my earpieces. I don’t react. The orchestra marches in procession. The brass instruments dazzle the eyes. The street transmits trepidation.
On the rise of the street I see our neighbor, Zoshke, protectively hugging her baby Leitsche. The baby bursts out crying, Zoshke desperately, unsuccessfully, tries to hush her. Leitsche’s crying becomes a rising and falling shriek. I smile at her, but her eyes are closed and she doesn’t notice me.
“Escape,” Father whispers again.
My feet are heavy, nailed to the spot, refusing to move even one small step. Father slaps my face. “Run towards the sea,” he commands me, too late. The road to the sea is blocked already. Two gendarmes are setting up a Public Works Department barrier with reflectors attached.
I hide in the backyard of one of the houses, stuck among garbage bins, keeping an eye on events in the street from my hiding place.
Traffic has come to a standstill in Allenby. Jews who have not managed to get away are being herded together under heavy guard.