Your name was Perla Kapsuto ,you were 36 ,your husband Jacques was 43, your sons, Albert 10 and Jean was 4. You used to live at Paris 20th, at 1, Charles robert Street.
One day in January 1944, a bus came to fetch you. A neighbor begged you to leave your children with her, but, you could not, did not want to believe. The bus took you away……..
Do you know for how long my father looked for you? How many doors he knocked on ? How many letters he sent? You were his sister, you were my aunt.
Father was in the resistance, and he had told you to leave, to escape to where France was still free, but no one listened to him. It is true auntie that no one could imagine…
Therefore to say that you existed, for my duty of memory and also for my father who passed away 12 years ago, I also looked for you…
I wrote to the shoah Memorial. I wrote to Yad Vachem. I looked for documents. You know auntie perla, I waited for these replies… They never came…
Today it is Purim in Israel, everybody is happy, fireworks crack in all corners, people are tasting the tasty cookies with recipes that come from so far away…
My Hebrew name is Esther, and is it a coincidence if today I receive a present?
Can one call a present being able to finally honor your own blood and to finally know?
The present came to me from Israel, from Joseph a friend, he finally found your trace….
I know, today Aunty Perla….
I know that you, my uncle Jacques and little Albert and Jean were taken in a bus on January 12th 1944 to the camp of Drancy.
A few days after, they had put you behind barbed wire, you were so frightened… A prison within a prison… To dishonor you even more, they shaved your heads
They loaded you like sick cattle in trucks. The cries, the yells that children made at the unexpected halts and starts of the trucks was heard as Mother ! Mother !.
Then, darkness, hunger and there it was terror…
Then in cattle car, they took you…
Convoy 67, February 3rd 1944 to Auschwitz –Birkenau
You were 1214 deportees and there were
-184 children younger than 18 years of age
out of which
9 children of 1
5 children of 2
4 children of 3
8 children of 4 etc…
-14 old people above 80 years of age
In the convoy there were the three young boys of the Avon high school arrested on January 15 1944 with their teacher Father Jacques.
You know,Auntie Perla, that this tragedy inspired Louis Malle’s film »Au revoir les enfants »
With you was also Rene Hirschler, the Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg, and also a woman with 7 children between 2 and 15 years of age.
It took 3 unending days to arrive to the extermination camp on February 6th 1944…
985 people were gassed and burnt at their arrival
166 men, ,49 women were »selected » for work
In 1945 there were 43 survivors out of which 23 women.
Out of those 26 were able to leave the camp alive
Do you know ,Auntie, I am writing this today, so that you may finally find peace, you are not alone… I never met you, my uncle and the little ones, but you are in my heart, in our hearts…
Today you joined all the stars that were lit off in those days, but that will never cease to shine in this big garden…
I found the missing piece of my memory
You know Auntie, today, memory is what is missing, in this period which makes face our history more than ever….
And now, Auntie Perla, Uncle Jacques, and you Albert, and you Jean, I can let you sleep….
Your niece and cousin