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I Wanted To Fly Like A Butterfly
(Hannah Gofrit)

This is a child?s recollection of the holocaust. Written in first person, Hannah, who grew up in Biala Ravska, Poland, was four when war broke and her happy childhood came to an end. German soldiers forced Jews to wear yellow cloth stars on their clothes to know who were Jewish. Then Jews were segregated from the Poles and were ordered to be confined to ghettos within the town. Hannah was not allowed to attend the same school as her Polish neighbor. German soldiers burned down the Jewish synagogue where Hannah and her family prayed.

One day the soldiers asked all the Jews to assemble at the school building where names were read out. Most of Hannah?s relatives and friends names were read and driven off in horse drawn carriages. They were taken to east Poland where all the Jews were killed except for those who could be of use like the cobbler and the glassblower.

News came that the remaining Jews were also going to be taken, so Hannah?s father took his family that night and ran into the forest and hid a pig house of his neighbor?s friend for many days. The soldiers started searching the forest so Hannah?s parents hid in a pit covered with garbage while Hannah was put in a sack and carried around as a sack of potatoes. Her thought at this time was to be free and fly like a butterfly.

Hannah?s father was soon found out in the forest and murdered. Hannah and her mother managed to get passports and reached Warsaw, disguised as Poles. For two years they stayed in a building without going out. All Jews who lived in a nearby ghetto were killed in a bombing after they revolted against the Germans.

Hannah was ten years old when the war ended and she and her mother went back to their village but her home was occupied by a Pole family and no one would recognize them. They left for another town and lived as Catholics for some time.
Later they went to Israel where Hannah is presently settled

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