A life time ago
On Klatovy station
Sitting on a swing
Hearing the old joke
“Your Aunty Rudolph and Uncle Else are coming”

Small uncle and tall aunt arriving
Bringing amazing gifts from distant Berlin
A round doll’s house with street lights at its centre,
A huge rocking horse with thick mane and proud tail
A red car to sit, to pedal and drive.

Sitting on a sad train full of children,
Parents last seen shut off behind barriers.
Suddenly in the corridor, Uncle Rudolph, Aunt Else
Riding through Germany from border to border,
Magically familiar, laughing and joking,
Their presence here the best gift of all.

Making a long postponed phone call,
Giving names, dates of birth, last known address,
2nd March 1943
Uncle Rudolph, Aunt Else
Deported to Auschwitz.

No one left to remember them
Just me
Finally, able to mourn.

Vera Schaufeld

Vera Schaufeld was born in Prague in 1930 and grew up in a very happy Jewish family. Her father was a Czech lawyer and her mother was a doctor. Her mother was born in Germany but finished her medical studies in the German department of Prague University after she married her father. Vera's nurse became her mother's receptionist. Vera's maternal grandmother left Germany in 1934 aged 80 and came to live with her, knowing no Czech, aged 80. Vera met her husband a survivor of many camps in Israel and married in Kibutz Nitzanim. After returning to England they had two daughters and now have four grandchildren and one great-grandson.