The Limitations of Circumstance
Dreams: Magic Hallucinatory Omnipotence
Temple was the young girl’s heroine. She
could laugh, dance, and sing, all at the same time.
Everyone loved her. They
danced with her. It looked so grand,
so wonderful. She had a smile that
brightened the area wherever she stood. Her
curls were more admirable than anyone had seen and her eyes shone from a
distance like two bright stars. Everyone
loved her. Rosalyn, the little girl in Nazi Germany was determined to be the
second Shirley Temple. She saw a
Shirley Temple toy that that
performed gestures when touched at certain spots.
Rosalyn knew she could do this too and played with her toy with delight
most of the day. She just knew that
someday she would be a second Shirley, whose legs would move like magic, and all
of her little friends would be astounded and would want to be near her.
loved her parents and wanted to reward them by being a “good” child, who
would listen to what her parents asked her to do.
She assured her doting mother of her gratitude for being the angelic and
protective human being that she was by assuring her of her eternal love and
caring and devotion: “Liebe Mama glaub es mir wenn ich gross bin helf ich dir.
Dann kannst du im Sessel ruhen und ich wer die Arbeit tun” (Dear Mom,
believe me when I grow up I will help you. Then
you can rest in the easy chair and I will do the work”).
Her father was a hero to the little girl.
He was tall and strong, could lift her up, play with her, protect her
from any evil that might occur. With
him always near her she would be safe from aggressive children or adults who
might not like her. With Papa around
her she would be protected.
was her role model. She made sure
that her pretty dresses were clean and comfortable, that there was always a
fresh baked cookie to enjoy when she drank her milk. There were stories to
hear of all kinds. The Jewish holidays were celebrated.
Chanukah and Purim were her favorites. They
were happy days, full of joy and a special gift or sweets, nuts, draydels, and
games that were so much fun. She
learned to memorize a Hebrew prayer before she fell asleep, and was taught to
read some Hebrew letters from a large printed prayer book that was in the house.
was secure and beautiful until she began school.
The children removed themselves from her.
She was the only Jewish child in her Kindergarten class. The students
taunted her by calling her names and sang nasty
songs like “Du Bist ein Jud, du bist ein stinkender Knoblauch Jud”.
(You are a Jew, you are a stinking garlic Jew).
As far as she was aware, Rosalyn had never had eaten garlic and did not
know what that vegetable was and what the odor or taste it had.
She did know she was rejected and “made out to be” a rejected,
unwanted human being. Her life changed. She
did not want to attend school. She
hid, and did not participate in Kindergarten again.
The child of her age, who lived across the street from her home, who had
been her friend and with whom she played, did not deal with her any more. Her
religion was considered a plague; she could never be “normal,” whatever that
word meant to her. She was a paraiah,
a condemned human being, an evil
creature that, as a nonperson, was an object to be ridiculed, jeered, and used
as a whipping board. Her braids were
pulled with force, and there was not one child that attempted to protect her,
was willing to intervene, or would help or
support her. She heard her parents
whisper to one another and eventually saw that her father left the family by
night and fog to escape from the tormentors that were determined to annihilate
him. He left with severe emotional
misgivings, fear and pain, and a promise to send for the family if somehow he
could. Rosalyn missed her father very much and learned to hide with her mother
and two siblings. Her childhood
dreams became nightmares at all hours of the day.
and her family were the “fortunate” ones.
They were able to escape without food, clothing, or anything from the
evil Germans. With their strong
faith, they were able to leave. America
was their future. None of the five
people in this family were unaffected. Rosalyn
knew she had to work and had to help herself to achieve what was essential in
her idealism. She could not rely on
anyone but herself and her faith to live an acceptable life.
(Her parents were never the same. They
were ridiculed because of their language, their accents, their
poverty, and their status as foreigners).
three children succeeded in their work, their learning, their professions, but
their early childhood dreams had been shattered and their lives were changed.
The hatred with which they were treated as children never healed.
Jews, let us never permit our fellow Americans to besmirch us or criticize us
for our beliefs, our Jewishness, our being. Let
us stand together AS ONE AGAINST OUR ENEMIES!!!