This is a story of Dvora Waterman about her aliya to the State of Israel. Almost four years ago, she moved to Israel, where her son is currently is a proud member of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). As she wrote: “Going into the city of Amsterdam I was always hiding my Mageen Dawied, Star of David, under my clothes. It was uncomfortable for me to be the Jew I really am and want to be”. Yes, Israel is the only homeland of the Jewish people, where they don’t need to hide the Star of David beneath clothe. From Dvora Waterman, we are learning a lot about the sufferings of the Jewish people in the Netherlands as well as the stories of cruelties on them during the Holocaust. By the way, there is a real individual behind the pseudonym of Dvora Waterman. For the sake of her personal safety as well as safety of other members of her family, we have to use this pseudonym.
Almost four years ago, my family and me made Aliya. We were coming from the Netherlands and the atmosphere for Jewish people was getting less and less friendly. There were days I really felt afraid and there were days I thought why am I afraid? Going into the city of Amsterdam I was always hiding my Mageen Dawied, Star of David, under my clothes. It was uncomfortable for me to be the Jew I really am and want to be. Better not be seen than asking for a problem. I heard about boys who could not wear their kippa, a rabbi who was slept in the face and certain people who grabbed his hat and made fun of him. Also, the café in the centre of Amsterdam that found out about certain people that hated his café, or was it him being a Jew? They broke the windows for about the tenth time.
Many times, I was thinking of leaving this country. The pain was always there. Living close to the city that was the home of my ancestors: Amsterdam, with its Jewish name Mokum, I was not happy to be there anymore. But this was not only recently, I felt like this for a long time. I did not fit in. The Dutch have a certain way of living their life and like all the other Jewish people, I lived a different life. I was married twice to non-Jewish men, but I tried to raise my five children as Jews. Me being their mom gave them the Jewish identity, they went to a Jewish school and had Jewish friends. Out of school they had their non-Jewish friends and that was fine.
But a lot happened: antisemitism increased, not only because of a changing population: no, also because the Dutch were not fond of their Jews. This is one of the reasons so many Jews were murdered during World War II. Also, one of my sons became familiar with antisemitism and that was the limit: we moved away: two of my youngest sons and me. We went to Spain to find out exactly the same thing going on there. A long story short: my son went for a holiday to Israel to his friend and he called me one day on the phone with this question: “Mama, please can we move to Israel? This is where I want to be”.
And so we did. In the heat of moving my marriage broke down, so I stayed in Israel with one son. My other children are still in Holland. They probably will stay there; they created their own life. My son here is in the IDF, he became an Israeli, has a load of good friends, is gaining the Israeli mentality and me: for the first time in my life I felt home. I do not have to think about me being Jewish, I am and that is what I wanted. This is where I was waiting for all my life. Although Israeli are very different from the Jews in Holland, I fit in. I am not as loud as they are, I am not as tough as they are: but our hearts are the same. That is what I missed in Holland: a warm heart and that is what my son and me found: warm hearts. So, we will stay here and we will only be going to the Netherlands to see our family. We are home.
Please follow Blitz on Google News channel