In January of 1944 Kate had taken her children to her in-laws to spend the day. When she walked towards her office, she saw two official cars stopped in front of the entrance and a crowd. Someone brushed past her.
“Well, well, so they’re finally arresting the Zionists,” Kate heard.
She never found out whether that was a friendly warning or lucky hostility. She looked in her pocketbook, and as if she had forgotten something, turned back. On her way to her parents’ apartment, she left a message for Daniel to meet her there.
“Mother, you will have to decide whether the children will be all right at Philip’s parents,” Kate said, breathless. “I want to live — I don’t want Philip to bring them up alone after the war.”
When Daniel arrived, she gripped his wrist. He and Kate discussed in low tones how they could get through Rumania to a Black Sea port.
“Come with us,” Daniel said to Elizabeth and Frederic, as the latter emptied his wallet into Kate’s pocketbook. “The Germans are going to occupy Hungary soon. I’m sure of it. The Rumanians consider the war to be lost, and they can be bribed.”
“I’ll stay with the children,” Elizabeth said. “If things get worse, I can take them to Anna.”
“The two of you will have enough trouble crossing the border” said Frederic. “What will you do when you get to Turkey?”
Kate explained that the Hungarian Jewish Agency held six hundred immigration permits issued by the British to Palestine — for one hundred thousand Hungarian Jews — she added bitterly. Since Hungary was not giving Jews exit visas, she would try to get one from the Jewish Agency in Istanbul. If she couldn’t, there were boats taking illegal immigrants into British Palestine.
“Go my dear,” Frederic said, embracing her. “We’re too old to swim the Hellespont.”
“I’ll come back, Mother,” said Kate, and they left by the service entrance.
— Chapter 29. Evening Light (1943)