Yellow Star – June 1942
At the beginning of the German Occupation, life was almost normal for us children. We went to the movies to see German films with famous actors and actresses. Our parents especially enjoyed seeing their favorite movie stars again. Our food ration tickets were very limited. Tickets for clothing and shoes were even more limited, and the black market was thriving. One day, my father took me to the flea market to find work boots to send to Uncle Nathan (my mother’s youngest brother), who wrote that he needed them in the work camp in Czechoslovakia. Then little by little decrees came down forbidding Jews in public baths, parks and finally schools. There also was a curfew at night. On June 7th, 1942, for my birthday, the yellow star had to be worn for the first time by the few friends who came to my party. We had been issued about six yellow cloth stars (Magen David) with a “J” in the center, representing either the Flemish “Jood” or the French “Juif” to be sewn on our outer clothing, on the left side, above the heart. I felt strange the first day I went to school with the star sewn on my jacket but inside I was proud to be Jewish. My friends and teachers treated me like before.