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Finding Food and Shelter

From the day I left the relative safety of the yellow star home, the days, weeks and months became one blurry period of sheer animal survival.

I would wake up, under ruins or in the doorway of a house, and look for water to clean myself with. Then the daily walk began. It was important to be on the move, and not stay in one place for too long. I would enter a church for a short “prayer.” Once in a while, a priest would come out and offer me some food–a piece of bread or ersatz sausage, or a hot drink. This was one source of breakfast, although it was unreliable. It was also dangerous, because the nazi gangs regularly searched churches for Jews. And young fascists were supposed to be free of the superstition of religion.

During or shortly after a bombing raid, I would climb through the blown out windows of an abandoned apartment and scavenge around for food. This had to be done fast, before the owners returned home from the shelter–if they were still alive, that is. Sometimes I managed to put a small package together, which would last me a day, or even for a few days. Come nighttime, I had to figure out where I would sleep again.

The question was never: What am I going to do tomorrow?

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