Chaim Kapłan’s Diary

Sometimes, we, the older, are relieved — when it comes to the attitude and behaviour towards the Nazis — by the street children who have nothing to lose.

Wide 15 maj 1

Sometimes, we, the older, are relieved — when it comes to the attitude and behaviour towards the Nazis — by the street children who have nothing to lose. They mimic and mock German rulers, their poses, their cruel deeds and delusions of grandeur.

Recently, a Nazi from the provinces has appeared on Jewish streets, where he rigorously enforced obligation to remove the headgear by Jews before every encountered German. In Warsaw, that rule was not strictly obeyed. „Dear” Guest from the provinces insisted, however, to be given „the honors due to him.” On Karmelicka Street a panic began: some Jews fled, some hid, and a few people were caught and beaten up because they did not bow... Some burst out with laughter. The urchins, who were the real masters of the street, used the opportunity and made fun of the „Übermensch " of the provinces before the passers-by. Many times they overtook him and bowed before him ostentatiously. Their friends walking behind him, laughed heartily, mocking his gait and movements. Finally a large crowd of urchins gathered around, which with the aim to ridicule the man stood there and screamed loudly, „hurray!” That this is the revenge of the Jews!

Chaim Kapłan, 15th May 1940, Warsaw

Ch. Kapłan, “The chronicle of life”, part 2, Biuletyn ŻIH, no 2 1964; diary from JHI collection; Translated from Hebrew by A. Rutkowski and A. Wein.

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