My mother counted in German. People always count in their mother tongue.
Wherever we went in Europe, my mother could always speak the language.

Linda spent a lot of time reflecting during lockdown. Every time anyone complained about the situation, Linda thought of everything the Jews endured and are still enduring, her own family in particular. With a strong desire to tell the stories of those who witnessed the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, Linda decided to tell her mother’s story. ‘To see it through her eyes is very powerful, and one tries to convey that.’

Both of Linda’s parents came from Frankfurt. Her mother witnessed Kristallnacht in 1938. That night, the main synagogue to which Linda’s mother used to love going was burned down. Her father left Germany and went to England in 1939, just before the war began. Her mother fled to Antwerp after Kristallnacht and stayed there for a year. In 1940, she fled to the south of France where she lived in Toulouse, Marseilles and Nice. She had to flee yet again, this time to Italy where she was hidden in a convent in Rome for 18 months towards the end of the war. Her experiences enabled Linda’s mother to speak German, French, Flemish and Italian fluently and later also English when she moved to Britain. Linda recalls that her mother always counted in German. ‘People always count in their mother tongue’, adding, ‘Wherever we went in Europe, my mother could always speak the language.’

This project is part of the initiative ‘Stand Together and Go Virtual’, supported by the German Embassy London and the Goethe-Institut London.