Remembering Malki on the first Memorial Day after her murderer’s release
Twenty three years ago, soon after immigrating to Israel, my husband and I took our children to the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. Our youngest and only daughter at the time, Malki, was three and a half. At one point, engrossed in the miniature replicas of synagogues from around the world, my husband let her hand slip out of his. By the time he realized it, Malki was nowhere in sight. We searched the entire museum building, questioned the guard who said he hadn’t seen her, and then, along with security men, scoured the grounds.
“Early in the morning we had the ceremony of the eleventh grade… It was very hard for me. The ceremony was conducted by the girls who returned from Poland. They simply spoke and cried. I couldn’t stop crying. I sobbed during [the singing of] “Ani Maamin”. I just could not sing, could not stop crying and I’ve never had it so hard before. Afterwards Shira [a friend] and I hugged and cried. The teacher (Golda) came over to calm us. Afterwards she [the teacher] told me that perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to travel to Poland [with the class, the following year] because I am so sensitive. It was very upsetting because, naturally, I would cry there. How could I not?! But it is very important to go. It was very difficult for me to study afterwards. In sport, Leah [a classmate] and I asked the teacher not to have practice because it wasn’t appropriate. So she played us classical music on the piano...”