A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile by Marjorie Agos­in

By Marjorie Agos­in

"I desire to speak about my lifestyles in an unseemly and noisy condo in southern Chile and a few city with fifty Nazis and 3 Jewish families..."

In this distinct memoir, Marjorie Agosín writes within the voice of her mom, Frida, who grew up because the daughter of ecu Jewish immigrants in Chile on this planet conflict II period. Woven into the narrative are the tales of Frida's father, who needed to go away Vienna in 1920 simply because he fell in love with a Christian cabaret dancer; of her paternal grandmother, who arrived in Chile later with a host tattoed on her arm; and of her nice grandmother from Odessa, who enjoyed the Spanish language quite a bit that she repeated its harmonious sounds even in her sleep. Agosín's memoir is a relocating testomony to persistence and to the ability of reminiscence and of words.

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Ana In the beginning of the war and in particular when Hitler annexed Poland and Austria, my father actively worked to rescue his Jewish brethren. Since there were only three Jewish families in Osorno, my father traveled to Santiago in a dilapidated slow train and journeyed next to the shadowy faces of that affectionate and damp land, which he learned to love more than anything else. In the capital he became associated with an organization called the Jewish Federation of Santiago, which in the years 1938 and 1939 had only fifty members.

The years we lived in Osorno we were poor. I will not dare say happy, but rather poor and lonely. Tailors Almost all my great grandfathers were tailors, except for the less fortunate who were soldiers in the armies of Czar Nicholas. Some of them were landlords. That is, some enjoyed a special status since they already had a business under an umbrella where they sold droopy pantsclothing for the dead and the livingand used bridegroom suits on rainy as well as sunny days. Little by little these Jewish tailors gained recognition until they sent my Uncle Marcos to Buenos Aires to study and receive the first diploma in our family.

This is how she developed the habit of charging my father for every extra breath he took, for all of the extra showers, and for all of the "have-nots" he had so generously helped. My father died with an enormous deficit, but he managed to continue to bury the just of the town with the money that he left behind. The Pink Cots Since we were very poor but dignified, my mother used to comb through the hospitals in search of beds that belonged to the dying. At home she would then paint them pink. She not only worried about Jaime and me having a place to sleep, but she also had various cots in Page 33 the living room for the terrified emigrants who arrived at our house on the corner of Yungay Square next to the enormous shade-bearing trees.

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