chapter  7
14 Pages

“Too Young to Remember”: Recovering and Integrating the Unacknowledged Known: Sophia Richman

BySOPHIA RICHMAN

My earliest memory is the lie my mother told me. It was shortly before my second birthday, and she warned me to stay away from the attic because she said, “A dangerous wolf lives there.” Unbeknownst to me, the wolf was a fabrication meant to keep me away from the attic space adjacent to our apartment where my father was hidden after his escape from a concentration camp. My parents feared that I could not yet be entrusted with such a secret, but shortly thereafter I discovered the man I came to know as tatush (daddy). Then, I was warned again, this time never to reveal his presence to anyone. Even as a toddler, I seemed to understand that heeding Mother’s words was a matter of life and death.