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About Bela belush Florenthal (Reichman)
I was one of the younger children in the family, when I was 6 years old we left the farm my family tended and moved to Bucarest. Tje reason for this move was that my father didn't want to send his children away from home to get education. I had to go to work at the age of 12, to help the family, and after work I attended evening school to continue my education. It was too hard and after a year of this I fell sick. Everyone, family and Doctors, were afraid for my life. When I recovered I rejoined day school. As a teenager I joined the "Hanoar Haziyoni" Jewish Youth Movement, and started to prepare myself to make "Aliya", meaning immigration to Palestine. I Joined a one year training -"Hachshara" at the Age of 17, leaving school after year 11, with the intention to complete High School at the end of the year. But life had another plan for me. At Hachshara I met Shmaya, we fell in love and after the year ended we got married and sailed to Palestine. At the begining we were members of a Kibbutz which was situated on a hill not far from Kfar Saba. I left the Kibbutz when my sister Lora, arrived from Romania, as I could not accept the way some of the Kibbutz members behaved.
We went to live in a rented small room in Kfar Saba. We received some days of work so that we had a small income to live on.
Shmaya joined me when he found out that we didn't have what to eat when there was no more work for us. As a couple, we managed to start some kind of life for ourselves, working at the orange groves when there was work.
When I became pregnant with our 1st child, Esther, we found work at Even Yehuda, where we could more money planting new Citrus trees. We had 20 pounds saved (a furtune in those days), by the time the baby came.
Esther was born in Afula, at that time a long journey from Even Yehuda. I travelled with a cart to the train station at Rosh Ha'ayin, the train took me to Haifa, to see my sister and her new husband Israel. I was to stay over the weekend but decided to proceed to Afula, on the next day as I had some strange pains which I didn' recognise.
I arrived in Afula at 8 pm and Esther was born 2 hours later. The cable anouncing the birth, arrived 4 days later and Shmaya came to see us and bring us home to our 1 room dwelling in Kfar Saba.
During the years in Kfar Saba we built our small house, had a lovely garden and in the back yard some trees, nice vegetable garden, chickens and goats. We both worked at the Pardess, and life was good, with a lot of friends around us, and family too as my younger brother Haim and family lived not far away.
Esther was placed in a day care and was growing nicely. It was not an easy life but it was a good one. As the 2nd worll war started we were both worried for our families that didn't make it to Palestine in time.
My father Menashe was murdered by the antisemitic Iron Gaurds, in the year of January 1941. He is buried in Bucarest's Jewish Cemetary, where there is a Memorial stone for all the victims of that bloody Pogrom. I didn't know about this until we heard the sad news of the tragedy of the sinking of the Struma on the 23rd of February 1942. All on board (but one survivor), 768 Jewish people perished in the Black Sea. I lost my mother Anneta, my 2 sisters Betty and Clara, my brother Mishu, my brother in-law Pincu, my sister in-law Silvia, Relu, Lucika, and Aurika, Betty's 3 children. Some other relatives too, Silvia's 2 sisters, and Pincu's Brother and also some people from Yetti's family. All together 19 people.
We didn't talk much about our loss, all the people around us either lost their whole families, or great many of them, and many just managed to survive the Holocaust. We tried to go on with our lives, and raise our families in our old new land. We carried our deads with us during the rest of our lives, naming the new babies after them and keeping them alive in our memories. Shmaya's 2 sisters, step mother and nephew
survived the war and came to Palestine after the war ended.
The war affected our lives too as there was no export of Citrus to Europe, and with no work we had to sell our house and move to Haifa where Shmaya became a taxi driver and later a tourist guide.
We had 3 hard years, having to send Esther to be aducated in a Kibbutz as we didn't have a proper place to live in. In 1946 we moved to the flat at Shderot Hanadiv 9, where our son Benny was born. The breadwinner was Shmaya, and I was at home, doing all the chores women had to do at that time.
Shmaya died when I was 49 years old. After his death I had to learn how to live without him. I think I made it, studied and became a librarian, and worked for many years with books, people, and mostly enjoyed the children who visited the library, and I watched them grow up and mature. Enjoyed my children's families, and the 4 grandchildren, took active part in raising them, and even enjoyed the 2 great granddaughters-Amit and Adi.
All the above was written by me, Esthi, from my memories and the stories my mother had told me.
Our dear Mother Bella had been a widow for 25 years and joined our father in July 1988. We miss you mumy, and there is not one day that we do not think of you, your courage, your strength your beauty (inside and outside), and the love you had for all of us.