Bicicletta e memoria


“No Jew can ride a bicycle. All Jews must turn in their bicycles at the police station. Refusal will bring punishment.”

Tra le tante leggi razziali emanate dai Nazisti, c’era anche l’assurdo divieto imposto agli ebrei di  possedere una bicicletta. Qui di seguito riportiamo dal sito www.bnaibrith.ca la pagina del diario di Eva Heyman, una ragazzina di tredici anni di origine Ungherese. Siamo nel 1941 e Eva racconta il giorno in cui alcuni militari nazisti si recarono a casa sua per sequestrarle la tanto amata bici a cui lei aveva dato il nome di Venerdì (Friday). Eva fu assassinata nell’ottobre del 1944.


The Bicycle by Eva Heyman

Today they came for my bicycle. I almost caused a big drama. You know, dear diary, I was awfully afraid just by the fact that the policeman came into the house.

I know that policemen bring only trouble with them, wherever they go. My bicycle had a proper license plate, and Grandpa had paid the tax for it. That’s how the policemen found it, because it was registered at City Hall that I have a bicycle. Now that it’s over, I’m so ashamed about how I behaved in front of the policemen. So, dear diary, I threw myself on the ground, held on to the back wheel of my bicycle, and shouted all sorts of things at the policemen: “Shame on you for taking away a bicycle from a little girl! That’s robbery.” We had saved up a year and a half to buy the bicycle… I went to the store and took the bicycle home, only I didn’t ride it but led it along with my hands, the way you handle a big, beautiful dog. From the outside I admired the bicycle, and even gave it a name: Friday. I took the name from Robinson Crusoe, but it suits the bicycle. First of all, because I brought it home on a Friday, and also because Friday is the symbol of loyalty, because he was so loyal to Robinson… One of the policemen was very annoyed and said: “All we need is for a Jewgirl to put on such a comedy when her bicycle is taken away. No Jewkid is entitled to keep a bicycle anymore. The Jews aren’t entitled to bread, either; they shouldn’t guzzle everything, but leave food for the soldiers.” You can imagine, dear diary, how I felt when they were saying this to my face. I had only heard that sort of thing on the radio, or read it in a German newspaper. Still, it’s different when you read something and when it’s thrown in your face. Especially if it’s when they’re taking my bicycle away.

Leave a Response