When The Lilacs Bloom Analysis

640 Words3 Pages
“It was a beautiful August sunny afternoon, I was sitting outside with my father near the cellar entrance; the only thing I can recall from that day was the arms that rounded my neck and the beautiful specks of trees reflected by the dazzling sunlight,” said Helen Segall, former Chair of the Russian Department at Dickinson College. Segall returned to campus on Tuesday March 24 to talk about her new memoir, When the Lilacs Bloom, which details her experiences as a childhood Holocaust survivor. During the talk in Althouse, Segall opened her speech with this description of such a warm and relaxing afternoon in order to highlight the contrast to the genocide that killed almost six million Jewish people. “I was born in a town called Dubno in Poland,…show more content…
They were beaten harshly and asked to dig their own graves in the cemetery before being shot by the machine gun.” Describing the effects this had on her life, she said, “It was devastating for our family.” Despite her grief, though, “the brutality of the war didn’t disappear just because of the death of my family members,” she added. Continuing, she said, “Then, the Germans started to ghettoize the Jews in my town. They divided them into two groups: those who were able to work and those who were too old or young to.” Segall, whose house was part of the ghetto, explained what life was like in these conditions: “They built a fence between my house and the house next door. At that period, we could not even stand on a sidewalk when there was a German approaching, because we Jews didn’t deserve to share the same ground with them.” Segall then started to describe the dangerous journey of escaping from the ghetto. Though she is now 84 years old and those horrible experiences had occurred more than half a century ago, her eyes were still filled with tears at the vivid memories she survived. To prepare for the escape, her mother made some forged papers, and ran to the remote countryside with her. “There was literally nothing to eat,” Segall said. “I could only scavenge some apple cores and sugar beets,” she
Open Document