Leaving Germany by Hedy Epstein

We left Kippenheim for Frankfurt where I was to join the Kindertransport. My mother’s younger brother had just gotten married, and he and his bride lived near there and we visited them so that I could say goodbye to them. My Uncle said he wanted to buy me a going-away present, so we went shopping and I bought this beautiful suit, I remember it was yellow.

And then the 18th of May, the day that I was leaving, finally arrived. Early in the morning my parents took me to the railroad station in Frankfurt so that I could join the Kindertransport and there were approximately 500 children, the youngest were twins six months old, the oldest was 17 and I was 14.

In my mind’s eye, I still see how the parents of those twins were reaching, handing over those two babies, six months old, to somebody on the train and all I could see were two hands and arms taking those babies because it was very close to where I was. I also heard the parents of these babies saying to whomever on the train, “Please take good care of our babies.”

My parents, like all parents, gave me the last-minute admonitions to be good, to be honest, and they were still smiling while they were standing on the platform.

There was a whistle and the train slowly moved out of the station. And the noise that the train makes, as it moves, the wheels seemed like they were saying to me: “You’re going away, you’re going away, you’re going away.”

My parents ran along the moving train till they came to the end of the platform and tears were streaming down their faces, and I was looking out and they became smaller and smaller and finally they were just two dots and then they were gone.

Many years later, I finally realized that by sending me away they literally gave me life a second time.

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