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By Agi Geva

I have a sister, 14 months younger than me, named Zsuzsi. Her name was changed to Shosha in Israel. She was a beautiful, sweet little girl loved by everyone. Our relationship changed when we got older and she realized that she did not have to do everything I asked her to. As the older sister, it seemed to me natural that whatever I was asked to do I should forward it to her. She used to comply in order to please me, but this came to an end when she realized that all those requests were my jobs and my responsibilities. 

As we got even older she developed her own opinions and her own likes that were very different from mine. Because logic and a quiet argument had no effect on me, she threw books, chairs, and different objects in my direction. There were lots of arguments about various unimportant things, all the time. 

On our last normal day, the big argument was about me being late for school. We were supposed to walk together to school, so if I was not ready, she would be late too. Actually, that was our very last argument. From the next day on, everything changed. It was the 18th of March, 1944. 

The next day became the most fateful day in our lives. Our beloved father died after a long illness. That same day, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. Never, ever was anything the same. New words and expressions we had never heard before told it all: occupation, yellow star, ghetto, brick factory, cattle wagons, death camp, selections, bunks, forced labor, tattoo, aluminum spare parts, night work, death march … . All that year was dominated with love, concern, and the ability to sacrifice for each other, clinging together at all possible times, watching out, defending ... being there, trying to make it easier for the others, more deep love again … not letting each other out of our sight even for a minute through all that took place, with our mother as the motivation. 

After returning to our former home, trying to pick up the pieces, we had a bond, a mutual responsibility, a deep concern that continues today. Our misunderstandings were dealt with in a civilized way, solved and carried out. We had a lot of respect and enough love left for a lifetime. We were so thankful just to have each other.

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