Vol. 12



c. 1939; Nowy Sacz, Poland

Rivka and Shlomo, my great-grandparents, had just gotten married in 1939. They lived in a small home in Poland. Germany had just taken over Poland. The Germans were anti-Semites,1 so they were very mean to Jewish people. Rivka and Shlomo didn’t know that the Germans were anti-Semites.

One day Rivka was at home by herself. A German officer broke into the house, looked around, and didn’t say a single word. All Rivka had were a camera and her Shabbos2 candles. Rivka was scared but stayed quiet. The German officer took the camera and walked out of the house.

Shlomo came home and saw that Rivka was upset. Rivka told him what had happened with the German officer.

Shlomo went to the police station to report what had happened. He saw a lot of the important Jewish people being rounded up and put into jail. Suddenly a German officer grabbed Shlomo by the collar and wailed, “Do you speak German?”

Luckily Shlomo spoke a lot of languages, and German was one of them. So Shlomo replied in German, “Yes.”

The German officer yelled at Shlomo, in German, “Get me a dog! My wife wants a dog.”

So Shlomo ran and searched. He somehow found a dog. Then he zoomed back to the police station and gave the officer the dog.

The German officer said, “Good job, Jew. Go home.”

Shlomo then hired a Jewish man with a wagon and horses, and took Rivka, four friends, and another couple — and escaped Poland.

At first when the camera was stolen, Rivka was very upset. But if it weren’t for the stolen camera, they wouldn’t have escaped from Poland and the Germans.

Abigail Wunder; New York, USA


1. An anti-Semite is someone who feels unfriendly toward Jews and may be mean to them.

2. “Shabbos” means “Sabbath,” a day of rest and worship.



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