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Helen Rodak-Izso

The Last Chance to Remember



Chapter 12. BAR MITZVAH

The next most dramatic happening was the Bar-Mitzvah of my little nephew, Imi, who was the son of aunt Cara and uncle Marci. This could hardly be a more sorrowful place for such a joyful occasion. The grandmother, aunt Marischka, her daughter Agnes, were allowed to come over from the other side of the road. The Rabbi from Abauj-Szanto participated and Imike (Imre) said his haftorah very beautifully. There were no dry eyes. The Rabbi didn't have to say much, the situation spoke for itself. It was very moving and everybody was full of emotion.

This was the time when we felt that man can be stronger sometimes than steel, but weaker than a single hair.

The older son, Ervinke was there too, about 18 years old at the time, and also took part in young people's work; tragically he never returned either; they were both adored by both sides of the family. Clara's family got permission for a few hours to participate at the Bar-Mitzvah and then rushed back to their place. Little did we know, that this was the last time we could see them. To our great shock we heard the bad news next day: that the deportation on the other side already went on the whole day. All we found out, was that who attended the Bar-Mitzvah a day before, Clara's family and other relatives and many friends, were gone. We never heard from them again. The date was about the middle of May, 1944.

Again a new panic set in on our side among us because it was just a matter of time, and we were the next in line. Unless some miracle happens, for which we still were praying and hoping.

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