Saturday, October 9, 1937
I’ve started working. I was able to start working within the first few days after Eitan was fired. It’s hard being a working woman. I’m always so tired, but obviously that’s just par for course these days. Eitan has been staying home with Ruth while I work, so I’m glad we didn’t have to get someone else to watch her. We wouldn’t be able to afford it, which is why I’ve always stayed home with her.
I’ve been working full time as the neighbors’ nanny and working part time at the Wascherei, as I mentioned I might look into. Eitan has been depressed since he lost his job. He feels like he has failed Ruth and me since I am having to work. As I told you before, he thinks I shouldn’t have to work becuase he believes working is his responsibility. But we will starve if I agree not to work. He has tried looking for work at other banks, schools, and even the same launder’s mat I’m working at now while I write this to you. No one will hire him for the same reason he lost his job in the first place. It’s so outrageous, Mama. It makes me irate how my husband is being treated simply because his family is Jewish. Does any of this make any sense to you? It doesn’t to me.
Work at the Wascherei is easy. There are a few other women who work there with me, and it’s nice being able to get to know and bond with these other working ladies. It’s hard, though, because the men who come into the establishment outwardly disrespect us a lot of the time. Some of the women who come in show their disdain, too. I think maybe they think they are better than us because they don’t have to work. Some of the women are kind and generous, thoug, with sympathetic smiles.
Anneliese, a bright-eyed girl who can’t be more than fifteen, is so kind and positive. She is always smiling and laughing about something. She is quite refreshing to be around. She is working here because both of her adopted parents are out of work, like Eitan is. So, she’s working instead of going to school so she can support her parents and baby brother. I enjoy working with her immensely, with her bright smile and dimples, but I am filled with sorrow for her that she has no other choice. I suppose I have no other choice, either, but Anneliese’s predicament seems more dire and sad than my own. She is a child and is being forced to give up school to support a family of four. I wish there was something I could do for her.
Working for the Stein’s is hectic. Mrs. Stein does the grocery shopping on the weekends, but I go during the week if we run out of anything. I cook and clean for Peter and Walther. They’re cute little things, three and four years old— too young for school, yet. So we play pretend and play with their toy cars while Mrs. and Mr. Stein are at work. They pay well, which I appreciate because the Wascherei does not. Even with the Stein’s paying as decently as they do, I still have to work both jobs to support my family. It makes me wonder what else Anneliese does to support her family, because I know the launder’s mat doesn’t pay enough for her to support her family of four, even working full time like she does. Her family lives in one of the ghettos outside of our town, so it is cheaper for her family there, but I know it must not be easy.
About the Creator
I’m a poet with sprinklings of fiction. I write with the soul, so I hope you find it interesting and relatable
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