Geula was born in 1954 in Morocco to her parents, Rachel and Ya’akov Malka, in the Moroccan city of Meknes. She immigrated to Israel with her parents, and brothers and sisters -- Shmuel, Margalit, Haim, Masudi and Renée. Except for her sisters who had immigrated a few years before with the Youth Immigration -- Sol Malka and Simi Malka -- or in an earlier immigration -- Chana who immigrated after marrying into the Baala family. Geula and her family immigrated through the port of Casablanca to Marseille, France, and from there to the port of Haifa.
Geula’s sister, Renée, who was a young adolescent in those days, recalls that baby Geula used to attract attention every time they walked on the ship’s deck. They arrived in Israel. Geula was beautiful and healthy, a blue-eyed baby, very light-skinned, who was evacuated by ambulance to Rambam as soon as the family disembarked in the port of Haifa. Young Renée accompanied Geula, whose age was only one year and nine months, on the ambulance. When they arrived at the hospital in Haifa, Renée was returned to her family, forced to separate from her sister Geula, to whom she was very attached.
That joyful moment when the family sets foot on the soil of the land of Israel, about which they and their ancestors had dreamed and towards which they had prayed, got mixed up with this difficult moment in which they were separated from their young daughter, and without knowing -- they had seen her for the last time in their lives. That moment when they anchor in their homeland, they’re excited, they believe in the nurses, doctors, social workers and all the professionals who are entrusted with their health and wellbeing. They trust their Jewish brothers to do them no harm. They are certain that if the “experts” assert that it’s necessary to take their daughter, their youngest daughter, to the hospital in order to get treatment, then they will take care of their girl. They didn’t imagine that their trust in their fellow man, their pure innocence, would lead them to sorrow and grief over their missing daughter until their last day on earth.
They were told that she died -- no body and no grave.
My grandfather and grandmother, faithful Jews, did not believe that specifically in the land of Israel, which declared itself a Jewish state, their beloved daughter would disappear from them, the fruit of their love -- and without them seeing her body, without reading Kaddish [the mourner’s prayer], and without a grave to mourn on.
Orly Abargil Oren
That joyful moment when the family sets foot on the soil of the land of Israel, about which they and their ancestors had dreamed and towards which they had prayed, got mixed up with this difficult moment in which they were separated from their young daughter, and without knowing -- they had seen her for the last time in their lives.