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  • My literature teacher at the Gymnasium was a woman we all feared, cynical and very judgmental. She also told us everything about Hitler´s abuses, though, which not all the teachers did.

    I went to one High – School – Reunion 6 years ago and the girls, who were quite old girls now (no boys in my Gymnasium back then) still talked for long times about how much they still hated Frau Richter (Mrs. JUDGE is her name translated, good name for her!)

    But, I am also still grateful to Frau Richter: she introduced me to Mahalia Jackson and to my favorite women – poets, all German Jewish women from the generation of my mother and grandmothers
    Selma Meerbaum – Eisinger died 17 years old in a concentration camp in the Ukraine, not in the gas, she died of Typhus. They say she died singing….

    She had managed to give her poems to some friends, who survived the camp and escaped to Israel. After the war Selma´s poems were published in Germany.

    This is my favorite poem by her:

    Das ist das Schwerste: sich verschenken
    Und wissen, dass man überflüssig ist,
    sich ganz zu geben und zu denken,
    dass man wie Rauch ins Nichts zerfliesst.

    I will try to translate:

    This task is the hardest: to give yourself,
    Knowing that nobody needs you,
    To surrender yourself completely, knowing
    That you will vanish into nothing, like smoke. --

    Joachim Frank

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Photography by Kiki

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