Touch Wood By Ren?e Roth-Hano

This essay has a total of 820 words and 4 pages.

Touch Wood By Ren?e Roth-Hano

³Touch Wood² is based on the author¹s own life when she was growing as
a Jewish girl during the German invasion of France. In 1940, Renee and
her family were living in Alsace, France, where nothing ever changed. No
one expected anything unusual to happen. Then one day, a war with
Germany is announced on the radio. The Germans wanted to annex Alsace
and forced the Jews to leave. France was split into two zones- the Free
Zone and the German occupied zone. Renee¹s father chose for them to move
to Paris, because it is a big city where he can find work, and also
because Renee¹s mother has childhood friends there. So, Renee, her
parents, her two younger sisters, and their blind grandmother move into
a crowded apartment in the German-occupied zone.
Renee was disappointed in Paris when she arrived. She finds that
everything seems to be smaller in Paris. Eventually, her new
neighborhood becomes more of a home and helps Renee to miss Alsace a
little less.
Renee¹s parents had left Poland and then Hungary to find a freer,
better life. They settled in France and thought they¹d be safe. Then
Adolf Hitler, a German man who hated Jewish people, started trouble all
over again. First, seven synagogues were blown up. Then, the Germans
created a curfew prohibiting Jews to go during certain hours. Any Jew
caught in the street after curfew would be taken as hostage. Also, all
Jewish people must wear a Star of David on their shirts. An ordinance is
created requiring all Jewish firms to be registered. Then the Jewish are
forbidden to go to most public places, and they are only allowed an hour
to grocery shop.
Suddenly, their family¹s Jewish neighbors are being taken away one by
one. Renee¹s family becomes fearful. At one point, they have to hide
from the police. Renee¹s parents decide to take action. They have
friends who know Mother Superior. They send Renee and her sisters to a
Catholic residence in Normandy until the war is over. Their father
emphasizes for them not to tell anyone that they are Jewish. When they
arrive in Normandy, they find a cozy bedroom, appetizing meals, and
friendly people. Renee has to deal with a nosy housekeeper, who could
possibly uncover their secret. Renee and her sisters love their new
school, which is much more spacious and modern than the one in Paris.
Renee¹s main concern is confusion over her religious identity. They
must convert to Catholicism to perfect their disguise. Their parents
have given permission for Renee and her sisters to be baptized and to
take their first communion. They decide to pray to the Catholic god to
make the war end soon, to help the French and their Allies win the war,
and to protect the Jews.
Renee becomes worried when she hears about the bombing of Paris, but
she was relieved to hear that her parents were not affected. Then thirty
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