Ketura and Solomon Raymond

My mother, Ketura Raymond, gave birth to my sister, Sara, in our house in the immigrant camp in Kiryat Shmoneh with the help of Indian “aunties” because my mother had severe birth cramps and the birth process started before the ambulance arrived. Later, the ambulance arrived and they completed the birth process. We, the children, had to leave for the entire procedure.

My mother, with the baby, was taken to the hospital in Safed. My mother was hospitalized for a week and was sent home without the baby; the reason given was that the baby was small and weak and needed to get stronger and we would be notified when to come to take her; a month later we received a telegram that the baby had died.

My parents traveled to Safed and asked to see the baby’s body and they were told to go home because the baby was buried in Tiberias and they were not told where or if there was a gravestone with a name. No additional information was given.

Sofian, my brother, was born in Safed Hospital, and again my mother was told that the baby was small and needed to develop in an incubator and since the conditions at home were not suitable, he must remain in the hospital.

I must point out that the story of Nurse Sarah repeated itself but because my parents, and we as children, were new immigrants without any knowledge of the Hebrew language, and we didn’t know then that there was a possibility that the brothers had disappeared; my parents received the news with much pain, but there was no one to talk to.

My parents spoke a fluent English but no-one gave them a chance to express themselves and ask questions and they simply ignored all my parents’ requests to know what happened to my two siblings.

My parents, who have since died, lived in Kiryat Shmona from the day of their immigration to Israel in June 1954, until the day they died.

My brother and I still live in Kiryat Shmona and two sisters live outside of Kiryat Shmona. Our oldest brother died; he had lived in Mitzpe Rimon.

There was no grave and there was no site for our parents to visit. I remember my father buying flowers and taking us, every year, to throw them into Lake Kinneret as a symbol of his pain over his children who disappeared.

Menora Yishayahu