, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I'm not a dog person. I don't do figurines on mantels collecting dust. This little red dog is the last thing I would choose. Yet it has pride of place in our home. This little red dog contains the story of the Holocaust for my husband's family. It survived. #WeRemember /1
The little red dog’s story is of death, life, horror and kindness. It began with my Jewish husband's maternal family in Croatia, sat on a mantel in a modest house in Zagreb. In 1943 the little red dog was abandoned, forgotten on that mantel when my husband's grandparents fled. /2
The little red dog sat there in the empty house, where no human sounds lived. Then one day, while its family were running for their lives from the fascist Ustaše, a kindly neighbour's hands scooped it up and hid it in a trunk along with precious family photos. /3
The little red dog stayed safe amongst the images of those who ran, while the house itself was robbed and ransacked by looters. It stayed safe while its owners were forced to stop along their escape route, deep in enemy territory for my husband's mother to be birthed. /4
Born in a damp wine cellar and deprived of the sun on her face, my husband's mother began her life in fascist Italy. They called her Renata to sound more Italian and mask their Jewishness. And the little red dog stayed, as hidden as the humans. /5
After the war ended, my husband's family returned to their home in Zagreb. The modest house, with its broken windows and violated insides. The neighbour met them there in their despair and produced the trunk with the photos and the little red dog. /6
They could not stay. There was nothing for them and too much pain. The people they fled with, that had to go on when they stopped. They had been killed at the border. The insistence of life through birth had kept them alive. Only a 1/4 of Croatian Jewish ppl survived. /7
So they took the photos and the little red dog, shared thanks and tears with the neighbour. And left. /8
So we'll keep the little red dog forever. When it gets cracked, we'll glue it. When it gets dusty, we'll clean it. When we leave this house it will come with us. It will never be hidden, never forgotten and never discarded. Never again. #BeLouder /9
For those wanting to educate themselves on antisemitism, this is a great place to start. It's a short read on the longest hatred, one part of a brilliant magazine my husband did: newint.org/features/2004/…
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