Although this particular child lived in nineteen-forties and probably died around 1944, she still has a voice.Martha 001

Her name was Martha she was 8 years old. How do I know about her? She was my mother Georgina’s cousin. A little girl.

Her picture was in our photo album in Hungary, then travelled with us to Australia and has travelled with me ever since.

As a little girl myself I asked my mother once, “Who is that little girl?” pointing to the picture.

My mother said, “That is our Martha, she was taken.”  That is all she said, but I could feel the deep emotion and grief in her voice, so I never asked again.

All I have is this picture; we don’t know how or where she died. Martha lived in Hungary, Zalaegerszeg, on the family farm. She had a mum, a dad, cousins, uncles and aunts. The rest of my relatives and my family, whom I never knew. They were all taken by the Nazis in 1944. Never to be heard of again, they disappeared.

My mother Georgina never discussed this subject. She went to Budapest before WWII then bought her mother from the family farm to Budapest, as well. They didn’t know it at the time, but this action saved their lives. In Budapest it was easier to be unnoticed.On a farm that had been in the family for generations; everyone knew that they were Jewish.

I felt Martha so close to me that even while I was writing “Georgina” I did not want to mention her. It was much too personal. Of course Martha did not see it that way, she wanted to speak. She kept looking at me from my picture album and smiling. When one dies so young they do not grow old; they always remain the same.

I have no pictures of any other family member. Only Martha. She looks at me from this photo laughing; I think she must be hiding something in her pocket, who knows. I don’t even know what the farm looked like, only that there was a farm in Zalaegerszeg. Mother never went back or showed it to us – it held too many memories.

Martha definitely has a voice and she spoke to me. She was happy, she was mischievous and for this reason she wanted to speak to all of you. I kept her picture.

It is different when we speak of the holocaust or that six million Jews were slaughtered. I am talking of one little girl: Martha. She is not part of the faceless millions, just one little girl. It would have been great to know her and the rest of my family. This is the real tragedy, the holocaust of the individuals.

In today’s world we still have families torn apart, murdered for no other reason but the colour of their skin or their beliefs. It is time to STOP.

I truly hope that Martha will speak to you as well. It would be just so sad if her voice disappears.