by Sara Nuss-Galles

The Pocket Reveals Its Secret

For women of her time and place, a mink coat was the ultimate status symbol. Whatever sufferings these Holocaust survivors had endured, during either the war or the nights and days of their new lives in America, the fur coat, trite as it may have been to some, was a mighty symbol of security. In my mother’s ease, this security did not extend to very many material objects. She permitted herself few comforts, walking long distances to save pennies, forgoing the bus even when the groceries were heavy and the weather unfriendly, working in a quickly darkening room rather than “wasting the light,” and rarely eating anything when it was fresh and tempting — she preferred to wait until the family had finished to see what was left over. And, when it came to her wardrobe, her everyday clothes had seen far too many washings and pressings. Making do was a philosophy of life for my mother.

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Inheriting Fur

The articles in this special section:

The Pocket Reveals Its Secret

by Sara Nuss-Galles

The Rashomon Coat Tale

by Deborah Solomon