I was sure that soon other people would occupy our house and would help him. I hated having to forsake my grandfather, but I was now powerless to help him, as it was too dangerous for me to be with other Jews.
With that thought, I suddenly stopped feeling like a child. If I were to survive, I would have to behave like a grown-up and fend for myself. Turning to my cat, I said, ‘Come along, it’s time to leave,’ and I set off with a small bundle over one shoulder, destination as yet undecided. ‘I have plenty of time to think about that,’ I said to myself. ‘The only obligation I now have is to find a way of surviving in the big, wide world that Hashem created for all of us, not just for the Germans.’
There being no choice, I decided to live in the fields forever. ‘If you can do it,’ I said to Malach, ‘then so can I. And from now on, I am going to compete with you, my dear friend.’
I resolved then and there that I was too young to die and made my way into the woods. The sky and the fields all around me looked beautiful, and that gave me inspiration to live.
‘Goodbye, childhood,’ I said. And though I was only a short, little girl, I resolved to walk tall, to freedom, to life. ‘If I am to survive, I have to start believing that I am very big, and become completely independent, like the animals in the wilds.’