My parents, Rahma and Murad Baruch, immigrated in 1950 and came to Shaar Ha'Aliyah. We, their six children, were born in Arbil, Iraq: My elder brother Zakay (later killed in the War of Attrition), Yehoshua, Latifa (Ahuva), Asher, myself (Narjaz), and my little brother Betzalel. After a year, in 1951, my mother gave birth to a daughter in the Scottish Hospital of Tiberias. They said she died in birth, no-one showed us a body or gave a death certificate. At the time we all lived in Camp 5 (Hey), near the police station today, we lived one year in tents and a few years in sheds. I, Narjaz (Narkis), was six years old and I remember everything.
After the seventh child was taken from us, my mother gave birth again in approximately 1953 to a daughter called Esther. She was a beautiful redhead, healthy with red cheeks. After a month at home, a nurse said she had a cold and that she was sick, so she was taken to Beit David Hospital. A day after she was hospitalized, I arrived with my mother and they told us that she died. Again there was no body, and no death certificate.
My mother never forgot her daughters and never did I. I remember the place where Esther was taken and until today when I go nearby I feel sad. When my brother's daughter was born, thirty years ago, my mother asked us to call her Esther.
Narjaz (Narkis) Baruch-Yohanan
In those days a maternity ward nurse would come around our house, and one day the nurse looked at my daughter and said she had a cold and was sick. That is how she was taken to Beit David.
When my brother's daughter was born, thirty years ago, my mother asked us to call her Esther.