that's life

THE HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH

We were a big loving family. I was born in 1920 in Leipzig, Germany.

My father, Isidore, and mum, Lina, had me soon after they married, followed by my sister, Johanna – Henni for short.

Proud of our country, we considered ourselves German first, and then Jewish.

My father worked hard to provide for us and he was always bringing friends home to share our meals.

‘If you are lucky enough to have money and a nice house, you can afford to help those who don’t,’ he would tell me.

But there was a cloud over this happy scene.

Germany was in trouble. We had lost the last war and the economy was ruined.

In 1933, when I was 13, Hitler came to power, bringing with him a wave of anti-Semitism.

Soon after, I was kicked out of school for being Jewish.

‘Don’t worry,’ my father said. ‘You will continue your studies.’

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