In September of 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland. One week later they captured the city of Lodz. Twenty year old Irena fled her hometown for Warsaw. She had intended to cross the border to Russia, but was too late; the border had been closed. She stayed with friends in Warsaw but food was scarce and she missed her family. Irena decided to go back home.
Because she was Jewish she was forbidden to ride the train. But Irena didn’t look Jewish and she could speak German. So she removed the yellow star from her sleeve and climbed aboard the train departing for Lodz.
The train pulled into the station after the eleven o’clock curfew. As she hurried home, Irena could see a German Officer a few blocks away. So she crossed the street and spoke to him – in perfect German. She told him that she was returning from Warsaw and the train was late; that she was tired and couldn’t wait to get home. She pointed to her apartment building. There was a Nazi flag hanging from the window.
The officer looked at her and said, “Poor girl, run fast, run fast.”
Never one to push her luck, Irena ran, thankful that her landlord was German.
dark night shooting stars one by one
Susan Beth Furst