WeWriWa—Determined to leave

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s.

Imre Goldmark put himself in a great deal of danger by going to his girlfriend Csilla’s old house to dig up valuables she hid last spring. He got into a violent fight with the gendarme who took over the house, whom he believes he murdered. Imre fled back to Budapest with the valuables and a broken hand.

His mother quickly found a smuggler from the Brihah, a group who successfully got many people out of harm’s way in the early postwar years. Imre’s sister Júlia announced she wants to escape too, and explains she’s terrified of all the occupying Soviet soldiers and feels a world apart from her classmates due to their disparate wartime experiences.

District XII of Budapest in 1945, Foto:Fortepan/Lissák Tivadar

“How long have you felt like this? You seemed happy and well-adjusted at your new school and in this new neighborhood.”

“These feelings have been building for awhile, but I didn’t want to bring it up for fear of you not understanding. So many people want to leave Hungary and Europe, but you seem happy staying here no matter what happened. We had it easy compared to Imcsi’s friends, but we still went through things other Hungarians can’t relate to or understand. Maybe we really should all move to Palestine.”

The Brihah man looked at Mrs. Goldmark. “Do you give permission for your daughter to go with us? These clandestine border crossings are usually fairly safe, and we’ll give them enough money to bribe anyone who might discover them and squeal.”

WeWriWa—Reasons for leaving

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s.

Imre Goldmark put himself in a great deal of danger by going to his girlfriend Csilla’s old house to dig up valuables she hid last spring. He got into a violent fight with the gendarme who took over the house, whom he believes he murdered. Imre fled back to Budapest with the valuables and a broken hand.

His mother quickly found a smuggler from the Brihah, a group which successfully got many people out of harm’s way in the early postwar years. However, no one expected Imre’s sister Júlia to announce she wants to escape too.

Soviet soldiers marching through Budapest, 1945

“Since when? You still have a few more years of gymnasium. Imcsi will have plenty of company with his friends, so you needn’t worry he’ll be lonely.”

“I don’t want to stay in Hungary anymore. None of the people at my gymnasium understand what I went through, living in a ghetto under false papers and terrified every single day. They didn’t lose their fathers to forced labor brigades, and didn’t almost lose their mothers to an Arrow Cross firing squad. And those damned Russians are everywhere. Some of them are really nice and helpful, but a lot of them only see someone with breasts and a skirt and want to have their way. I don’t want to spend the next few years constantly on-guard when I’m walking anywhere, thinking about which soldier might try to rape me. I’ll feel much more comfortable and safe in France.”

WeWriWa—Smuggling instructions

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s.

It’s November 1945, and Imre chose to stay behind in Budapest when his girlfriend Csilla and their friends were smuggled into Italy. Hoping to prove himself a hero, he went to Csilla’s hometown Abony to recover important possessions she hid last year.

Imre broke his entire left hand after a violent fight with the gendarme who took over Csilla’s house, and is now meeting with a smuggler in his mother’s apartment. Mrs. Goldmark found someone from the Brihah (which means Escape or Flight in Hebrew), a group which successfully smuggled many Shoah survivors into safer countries and ultimately into Israel.

Nyugati Station, Copyright FOTO:Fortepan Uvaterv

“I’m taking you to Nyugati Station as soon as supper is over,” the Brihah man said. “I’ll put you aboard a coal car or cattlewagon, whichever we have easiest, safest access to. First thing in the morning, the train takes off, and you’ll stay as quiet as possible until the train reaches Firenze. If you must make any pain noises and you happen to be in a cattlewagon, kick the cows as hard as possible so their pain noises will muffle your own. You’ll be met by people who know you’re coming.”

“I’ll give you enough money to cover a nice hotel until you find your friends, plus plenty of money for normal living expenses,” Mrs. Goldmark promised. “Don’t risk writing to me. I’ll write to you first, if and only if I know no one’s looking for you.”

“I want to go too,” Júlia announced.

WeWriWa—Mrs. Goldmark’s magic

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s.

It’s November 1945, and Imre chose to stay behind in Budapest when his girlfriend Csilla and their friends were smuggled into Italy. Hoping to prove himself a hero, he went to Csilla’s hometown Abony to recover important possessions she hid last year.

Imre broke his entire left hand after a violent fight with the gendarme who took over Csilla’s house, and has been advised to hide in his mother’s apartment till a smuggler can be found. Less than 24 hours later, that smuggler has arrived and promised to get Imre into Italy.

View of Pasarét, Copyright Globetrotter19

“Their ultimate destination is France,” Mrs. Goldmark said. “My beautiful Imcsi wants to study literature at the Sorbonne.”

“How did you know my address?” Imre asked. “I didn’t have a chance to tell you.”

“I took today off work, claiming a personal emergency, and asked around in all the Pest synagogues and Jewish committees. I was finally directed towards a smuggler, whom it turns out knew someone who’d recently helped with smuggling a group in Pasarét. When I spoke to this other smuggler, I got the address, and I went over there immediately to retrieve your luggage. Mirjam was shocked to learn what’d happened, but promised to keep mum. She wishes you well, and looks forward to seeing you again when she comes to France.”

*********************

Mirjam is the much-older sister of Imre’s friend Eszter. She and her roommates opened their apartment to Imre’s female friends, and found a vacant apartment across the hall for the boys. Mirjam fled home to Abony after the Nazis invaded Budapest. Though that made her fate much worse, it also enabled her to send her youngest two siblings to safety in a last-minute miracle.

WeWriWa—Waking up to unexpected news

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m now sharing from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” of my hiatused WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, starting the second section of this chapter.

It’s November 1945, and Imre chose to stay behind in Budapest when his girlfriend Csilla and their friends were smuggled into Italy. Hoping to prove himself a hero, he went to Csilla’s hometown Abony to recover important possessions she hid last year.

Imre fled back to Budapest after a violent fight with the gendarme who took over Csilla’s house, and discovered he broke his entire dominant hand. His mother promised to hide him until she could find someone to smuggle him out of Hungary. Imre may have killed the gendarme, which puts his life in danger.

Rizi-bizi, Copyright Dithie at WikiCommons

Imre slept until early evening, so conked-out by the morphine and his body’s overwhelming need to rest and start recovering after that huge shock to the system. When he finally awoke, he heard a strange voice drifting in from the living room, commingled with the delicious scent of chicken soup, stuffed peppers, and rizi-bizi. Then the throbbing pain in his hand made itself known again, and he rushed into the washroom with the empty glass on his nightstand and the bottle of codeine.

“You’re going on a little journey,” the stranger informed him when he made his appearance. “Your mother already retrieved your luggage for you, so you’re ready to go as soon as you eat.”

“Where am I going?” Imre asked. “Who are you?”

“I’m from the Brihah, my good man. It’s our job to get as many people out of Europe and into Palestine as possible. Your mother tells me your friends recently left for Italy, and now you’re going to join them.”