“I give you my treasure. I beg you – you are also a mother – to save my child. God will repay you for everything, and I will too (…). My child will bring you luck, you will see. I beg you, yourself a mother, to have mercy on my child (…).”
Thus begins a desperate plea of a Jewish mother, Eda Kunstler, to a Catholic mother, Zofia Sendler. Eda searched for a way to save her infant daughter Anita from the Kraków ghetto in German-occupied Poland. The letter written in 1943 testifies to the desperation that Eda faced and illuminates the shreds of agency that she strove to exercise as a mother. More broadly, Eda’s note demonstrates the impossible choices that parents were forced to make in an effort to try to assure their children’s survival during the Holocaust.