A Preview from the new book, A Hole in the Holocaust: The WWII Escape of a Yugoslav Jewish Family from German Execution
My mother and I went to the railroad station with Anton in the roles of Anton's wife and child, my mother having dyed her hair blonde so she would look more Aryan. The result was she now resembled the American film actress, Lana Turner.
But when we got to the station, we discovered there was another problem. In regard to anything that had to do with Germans, there was always another problem.
Having gotten wise to Jews sneaking out of Sarajevo on fake passports and dyeing their hair, the Germans suddenly instituted a new procedure, one we hadn't heard of. For all we knew, our trip was this procedure's inauguration.
THE GERMAN GUARDS AT THE STATION ASKED MY MOTHER TO RECITE THE LORD'S PRAYER.
What were the chances of a Yiddisher mamma knowing the Lord's Prayer?
About the same as a Catholic being able to intone the Kaddish (Jewish prayer for the dead) at a shiva (the Jewish version of a wake).
If she were unable to recite the Lord's Prayer for the Germans, our next stop would be the concentration camp and that would include my father and grandfather, whom they would have fetched from home. That was the way Germans did things.