AS a convoy of blue-and-white United Nations trucks loaded with food waited last night for Israeli permission to enter Gaza, Jindiya Abu Amra and her 12-year-old daughter went scrounging for the wild grass their family now lives on.
“We had one meal today - khobbeizeh,” said Abu Amra, 43, showing the leaves of a plant that grows along the streets of Gaza. “Every day, I wake up and start looking for wood and plastic to burn for fuel and I beg. When I find nothing, we eat this grass.”
Abu Amra and her unemployed husband have seven daughters and a son. Their tiny breeze-block house has had no furniture since they burnt the last cupboard for heat.
“I can’t remember seeing a fruit,” said Rabab, 12, who goes with her mother most mornings to scavenge. She is dressed in a tracksuit top and holed jeans, and her feet are bare.
Israel forgot their own experience from the Holocaust, as described by commenter Sonja:
“I used to get …very hungry,” Blum said. “And then something came to me. I said, ‘The cows eat grass to live. How come I can’t do that?’ So I started hunting for grass. But you couldn’t find grass too many places. You find the roots. I used to clean the grass off the roots and chew on the roots, too. But then I discovered an area behind the kitchen. It was a restricted area. Nobody was allowed to go in, and the grass was growing nice. And I used to smuggle myself inside somehow… I ran in, took a handful [of grass] and ran out.”
By Rosa Blum, holocaust survivor, Romania
Holocaust in Romania, by Matatias Carp (6. Life and Death in Transnistria)
June 10, 1942
The buildings on the right housed deportees who had managed to save some
of their money, or because of their good connections were able to receive
aid in Moghilev. On the left side, however, hunger reigned. A number of
those interned had no choice but to eat grass from the meadows and leaves
Yom HaShoah: The Train to Belzac
By Eva Galler (holocaust survivor)
It was cold. In one corner there was a little iron stove but no fuel. We were not given enough to eat. The children looked through the garbage for food. There was not enough water to drink. There was one well in the backyard, but it would not produce enough water for everybody. To be sure to get water you had to get up in the middle of the night. Once I had a little water to wash myself, and my sister later washed herself in the same water.
Some people started to eat grass. They would swell up and die. Because of the unsanitary conditions people got lice and typhus. My brother Pinchas got night blindness from lack of vitamins. Every day a lot of people died.
Holocaust survivors remember Lodz ghetto
Reuters - August 29, 2004
LODZ, Poland - Sam Weinreich remembers the last time he came to Radegast train station in Poland’s second-largest city - the day in 1944 he was forced into a cattle car and sent to Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz death camp.
“They promised us bread, so we came here … when you’re hungry, you’ll eat grass. People in the ghetto became like animals,” said Weinreich, one of some 400 survivors who on Sunday commemorated the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto 60 years ago.
Story of Survival - Holocaust experience remembered
by Johnell Lytle-Davis
“Why do they hate us?” Meisel said she asked her mother. “Because we are Jews,” her mother replied. “At least we are alive.”
Meisel revealed that she survived on about 300 calories in a day. “I would eat grass I was so hungry,” she said.
Thank you, Sonja, for this incredible collection of relevant stories.
It seems Israel has no intention of respecting or remembering, let alone learning from, the Holocaust.
Instead, they are trying to create, on perhaps a smaller scale - but in terms of human tragedy, is the death of children ever small for the conscience? - their own little Holocaust, inflicted on someone else.
And the reason is always the same. Security. For the Fatherland.