I am a month away from turning thirteen and having my Bar Mitzvah, and my mother said that since I am becoming a man, it is important for me to keep a journal to preserve my memory, thoughts and feelings. She and my father both escaped the Holocaust in Poland, and I want to respect her wishes. I know she wants me to keep a record of my teenage and young adult years because everything from hers was destroyed.
I will write a little bit about myself, both to remember myself as I am now, and to help anyone who finds this journal to understand who I am. My name is Emiliano Krakowski Rosenblum, and I was born on April 7, 1955 here in Buenos Aires. My parents wanted to give me a Spanish name to make sure I fit in, but my last name still sticks out when the teacher calls role in school. My parents are Sonia Rosenblum and Ruben Krakowski. They met on a boat from Poland to Buenos Aires in 1939. My mother used to sing on the ship to cheer herself up, and my father says that even though they were teenagers, he fell in love with her voice and knew that they would be married. My father is a psychiatrist, which I don’t like. I think he’s always analyzing everything I do or say, although I don’t know what conclusions he’s made about me yet. My mom teaches literature at the University of Buenos Aires. When I’m older, I want to be a student there. My parents both worked hard to learn Spanish quickly and get an education. I feel very lucky to have everything they’ve provided for me, but it’s lonely feeling like I stick out at school, and sometimes I hear people laugh at my parents’ accents. There are other Jews here, but honestly sometimes I wish I were Catholic.
It’s been almost two years since Onganía became President, and it seems like my parents have been nervous and stressed. Even though I am getting older, it seems like they are more protective of me. I hear them talking in hushed tones sometimes when they think I’m asleep. The other night, I heard my mother crying and ask my father why she came all this way only to live in fear again. She said she knows what can happen when the military takes too much power.
My mom just said it’s time to go to bed, so I guess I have to stop writing. Maybe when I become a man next month I won’t have to have a bed time anymore.