Haya Lea Kats with her sister Hava

Haya Lea Kats with her sister Hava

Here we are dressed up for Purim in oriental costumes, with jugs, and we danced as well as we could. These costumes I sewed myself. My sister Hava helped me.

When I was a girl, I presented this photo to my friend Sara Shenfeld, who now lives in Israel. She returned it to me when I was in Israel in 1989, and I am very happy about that, because I had no photos after the camp and the Holocaust.

On the reverse side there is an inscription in Hebrew that I presented that photo to Sara: "For eternal memory to my good friend Sara from Hava and Haya. 1932."

As a child, I developed an appreciation for clothing, and most everything we had was sewn for us by a dressmaker who mother knew personally. I loved to go with Mum to try the dresses on, and that's when I developed a liking to sewing.

When I studied in junior classes, the older pupils started to entice us to various school organizations.

I liked the idea of "Ha shomer Hazair," or "The Young Watchman". When I joined it, we were called "bnei mitbar," meaning "The children of desert", and all wore square kerchiefs with a band on our heads.

At school we used to embroider special stars on our berets with glossy threads. Apart from sessions in grammar school we used to attend to the meetings of these organizations.

My brother chose "Beitar" and "Òumpel Dor". He liked the full-dress uniform, in which he looked like a warrior. We were wearing those kerchiefs, and my brother - his uniform and a whistle on his neck.

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