A cheerful “Bye” and they were gone

On 7 September 1943, after a deportation order had been issued for Mischa, Etty, and her parents, Etty stepped onto the platform beside a waiting train bound for Poland. Jopie Vleeschhouwer described her departure in a letter to the friends in Amsterdam: ‘Talking gaily, smiling, a kind word for everyone she met on the way, full of sparkling humour, perhaps just a touch of sadness, but every inch the Etty you all know so well.…I saw Mother, Father H., and Mischa board car No. l. Etty finished up in No. 12, having first stopped to look for a friend in car No. 14, who was pulled out again at the last minute. Then a shrill whistle and the 1,000 “transport cases” were moving out. Another flourish from Mischa, who waved through a crack in No. 1, a cheerful “Bye” from Etty in No. 12, and they were gone.’

—Jan G. Gaarlandt, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43, (London: Persephone Books Ltd, 1999), xxvi.

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