Bethany S. Reading 050 11/29/11 The Story of Blima: A Holocaust Survivor I. Before the Storm A. Blima’s personality 1. Known as best child; smart 2. Works at bakery with Aunt 3. Embarrassed about chest B. Blima’s guilt 1. At 6 years old dropped baby brother, Zalman, and he died when 2 months old 2. Mother is very forgiving C. Blima’s vanity 1. Thinks she’s not pretty like her sister, Adele 2. Mother says Blima looks most like herself D. Grandfathers death 1. Cat, Masha, lies at feet of grandfather; she senses disaster 2.
Blima comforts mother E. Blima’s difficulties 1. Loses favorite shoes . Faints at grandfathers funeral; doesn’t like being center of attention II. Darkness Falls A. The nightmare begins 1. Going home early from working at bakery because business isn’t good 2. On way home Nazis kidnap her 3. Last time she saw her mother B. Traveling to labor camp 1. Walking with group; links arm with girl who falls 2. Secretly gets twigs to munch on 3. Shoved into cattle car 4.
Finds friend, Clara, who was schoolmate 5. Tries not to faint; looks at other peoples shoes to distract herself C. No longer Blima 1. German woman commandant takes coat off along with jewelry 2.
Hair is shaved; clothes are changed to white blouse and black skirt 3.. Shoes changed to wooden ones 4. Five-digit number tattooed to arm, no longer Blima, but a number ~ 44703 D. First day of labor camp 1. Woken at 4am for roll call 2. Taken to factory to work 3. Says she can work to avoid gas chamber 4.
Gizella secretly helps Blima with machine E. Gizella 1. Helps her by giving her food 2. Tells Blima that she will be her mother F. Transported 1. After three years is taken to another camp 2. Finds sister-in-law, Ruschia G. Trying to stay alive 1. The stench of the dead is unbearable; lots of sickness . British generals come to their rescue III. Daylight A. Blima is alive 1. Knows she is alive 2. Freed; Red Cross brings food B. Reunions and disappointments 1. Everybody is looking for somebody 2. Ruschia’s husband, Victor, is alive 3. Blima’s younger brother, Kalman, is alive C. A new chance, a renewal of life 1. Victor finds Ruschia and Blima 2. On the Jewish New Year they wear a prayer shawl that means: a new chance, a renewal of life. 3. They praise God for keeping them alive D. Searching 1. Victor looks for Kalman – no hope 2. Victor looks again but brings Ruschia along – they find him . Blima receives note from woman who lived with Gizella E. Blima searches for Gizella 1. She visits the woman, Frau Danhaus, who gave her the note 2. She found out a rumor that Gizella was taken by Nazi guards and was shot for helping a Jew, Blima F. Chiel 1. Ruschia and Victor want Blima to marry 2. A cousin of theirs knows of Chiel who is alone 3. Chiel visits Blima and they share stories of what happened to them in the labor camps G. Blima’s future 1. She marries Chiel the same month she was taken and freed – April 2. Moves to America with Chiel; has a son and daughter