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|The Secret Language||Uncle Herman and His Friends||Mommy||The Fundraising|
This happened in Czernowitz of 1935 when our childhood was not yet threatened by the destructive war soon to come and despite the dark clouds that had hovered over our heads we children did not fully realize the gravity of the situation.
On a cloudy day when my sister Dora was 10 and I 8 we strolled leisurely on Flondor street (Herrengasse) and when we passed by the entrance to the Corso cinema there were a few ladies organizing a charity fundraising.
Everyone who wanted to participate was welcomed and Dora and I presented ourselves to one of the ladies in charge as did many others.
The woman gave us a small tin box with a slot in the lid through which the coins were supposed to dangle inside. We also received tags with pins that we were supposed to attach to the lapels of the generous donors as a gratitude for contribution to the fundraising effort.
Dora and I took the matter seriously and addressed the passersby - "a small contribution, please."
Because we were children, few refused to our request and even one man donated a bill of 20 lei - truly an exceptional contribution relative to the small coins that we got from most of the donors.
After two hours, we returned back tired but satisfied, we handed over a full box and asked for another one to continue the fundraising.
Apparently, the woman in charge questioned the ability of two small children, aged 8 and 10, to fill the box and refused to give us another one.
We were offended because we knew we had done a good job in collecting donations but we continued to hang around.
Meanwhile the woman who refused to give us another box opened the box and realized that we had done a good job. She called us and asked us to take another box.
We, two offended young girls, refused politely and walked on proudly down the street.