WeWriWa—A night in the Bohemian Forest

In loving memory of my maternal grandpap, who left the material world 13 January 2017.


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, I’m starting a scene from Part II of The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees, which is my now primary WIP.

This opens the fourth section of Chapter 18, “On the Move Again.” It’s now late February 1945, the eve of Purim. Four of the boys have held onto their humanity and friendship, but the other three have become very cynical and animalistic. As bitter and angry as 15-year-old Kálmán has become, he still thinks of himself as a human being, and lives for revenge.


View into the Bohemian Forest, Copyright DeutscherAar

The seven remaining boys had lost track of how long they’d been trudging away on the road, though one of the religious men keeping a calendar said it was Ta’anit Esther.  This year, just about everyone kept the fast through default, since there was barely any food distributed for anyone.

“This is the coldest winter I can remember.” Kálmán pulled his worn-out coat and blanket from Jawischowitz tighter around himself as they huddled in that night’s encampment by the Bohemian Forest. “I wish those stingy, murderous bastards had given us furs and down comforters.”

“I’m thinking again of escaping,” Adrián said. “Thank God we’re in Czechoslovakia, so the natives will be good to us.  The Czechs are modern, enlightened people, not a pack of anti-Semites.”

Kálmán grunted. “Obviously not enough of them are like that, or else their country wouldn’t have been occupied and their Jewish community wouldn’t have been deported.”


The Bohemian Forest is a large mountain range on the Czech–German border, with lots of historic landmarks, skiing resorts, protected forests, and spas. It’s called Böhmerwald in German, and Šumava in its native Czech.


20 comments on “WeWriWa—A night in the Bohemian Forest

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    A very grim and touching scene


  2. P.T. Wyant says:

    His bitterness comes through clearly.


  3. He’s young to be so angry, but it’s certainly understandable!


  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. Be well.
    Jess Schira


  5. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Great insight into the events of that time, and your characters emotions and experiences. You tell the story so well!

    *hugs* on the anniversary of losing your grandfather.


  6. Strong emotions here, cheers on the well-written scene! What I like about this is that it’s not overblown, overdramatic.

    May happy memories of your grandfather bring you peace.



  7. I feel as if we’re eavesdropping on very real people, excellent excerpt.


  8. It was an awful time, not only for Jews.


  9. Diane Burton says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. In this snippet, everything is so vivid, their cold,despair, and a touch of hope that they will find kind people to help them. You make me afraid for them. Good job.


  10. Plenty to feel bitter about–and I’m sure the lack of food makes the cold bite that much deeper!

    My condolences on your loss. 😦


  11. nancygideon says:

    Such a touching and heart breaking scene!


  12. kimmydonn says:

    Daring and dire. I wish them the best.


  13. Joe Owens says:

    I admire your devotion to researching the history to make this real. I am new to WWW so trying to understand the process.


  14. I love how the realism came through for the characters. I’m also very sorry for your loss.


  15. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Great imagery. So sorry for your loss. Hugs.


  16. You’re tapping into a intense subject. I can’t wait to read more. 🙂


  17. A stark and dramatic scene. Like the new look to your website, BTW.


  18. I’m a bit cold just thinking about how cold — and hungry — they are.

    So sorry for your loss as well. 😦


  19. Smooth dialogue and good job conveying his emotions.

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort in your memories…


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