My father wrote the following about life in Brussels after Kristallnacht.If you’re trying to follow along chronologically as events unfolded, this post should technically come right after the post on Kristallnacht.
I have absolutely no memory of what happened in the next two years, with only occasional recall of particular incidents after that. I remember a small apartment over a butcher shop run by a man named Kornberg. I liked going down to his store to watch him make sausage. I also liked the several cats that wandered about the place. The combination of meat and cats was a good one.
I also remember a terrible fight between my parents, caused by I know not what, but it had been terribly hot that night, and somehow balloons attached to my crib burst. Don’t know if that had anything to do with the fight between my parents, but I clearly remember my father hitting my mother, and her head striking a delft-like, white and blue ceramic coffee mill. Apparently, just as we were not among the wealthy Berlin department store owners or fancy art collectors of Berlin, we were also not among all those Jewish families where all got along together. My father disappeared after that, but the next thing I remember was the start of the war in Belgium.
People were leaning out of their windows, pointing and listening to the muffled sound of bombs falling in the distance, and telling each other that it was the beginning of war. Actually, it was the Nazis bombing the Brussels airport, and yes, it was the beginning of World War II in Belgium.