Friday, June 22, 2018

I TOO AM AN IMMIGRANT by Patricia Friedberg

Why do I write every day about the situation on the border? Because it has brought back memories of my childhood in London.  When war broke out parents were urged to evacuate their children.  My mother took me to the main station where hundreds, maybe thousands, of parents stood in line waiting to place their child on a train that would take them, well they didn't know where, for safety.  I had an air raid mask in a box and a Teddy Bear - I think my mother had a small suit case packed with my clothes.  Parents were crying, children hanging on to them, guards with green flags urging us ever forward.  Train after train left and then we reached the platform, that train, that train coming in, puffing white smelly smoke slowly arrived and stopped.  That was my train. We followed the guard with the green flag - we reached the intended carriage - and then something happened.  My mother lifted me into her arms, turned round and pushed her way back, through the crowds, through the police line, through the gate and into the open air.  Years later I asked her why she wouldnt let me go.  She answered - 'you were my child, you belonged with your family whatever the circumstances, you were too young to be separated from me and I could not go with you.' 

And so I spent six years of that war in London - it wasn't pleasant and often I was scared, but I had my family, my grandparents, my mother and most of my cousins. My mother made that decision and now I know why.