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  • Jane

Where did that Heil Hitler salute pop up from!?!


Gorkem and Andreas, a lovely young professional couple, arrived in late December all the way from Germany to 'wwoof' at my home. The plan was that they would help in the garden and also care for mum while I disappeared to a music festival in Queensland for a week. They were very excited and intrigued to meet a 100 year old Holocaust survivor.  When I took them to meet mum, she was alert and in a good mood. She immediately grabbed Andreas's hand for an arm wrestle -- I think this is how she flirts with handsome young men.

We stayed for a short while, and when saying our goodbyes, mum raised her arm in a firm Nazi salute. Gorkem and Andreas's eyes popped out in disbelief. That was the last thing they would have imagined mum would do. Auschwitz survivors don't do Nazi salutes. In fact they're banned in Germany and recently also in Oz. My eyes popped out less because I've seen mum occasionally do this before. I'm sure she's confused the salute with her 'Never Again' fist-in-the-air salute. What she means to convey is that 'Never Again' will Jews be victims to be 'led to the slaughter'. In mum's eyes we have to be strong, hold our heads up and fight the hatred. She definitely didn't mean 'Long Live the Third Reich'.

We walked out of there stunned , leaving mum with her determined, 'woman on a mission' look :-)

Arm wrestle between a determined Marysia & a surprised Andreas

A confused salute


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