What’s in a name?

6 of Wands:

archangel michael:

Oooooh but YES! I do have a problem with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not with the image on the card, but with the being he is supposed to depict, with archangel Michael of the christians.

With Michael!!!!

See: Ada, my father named me Mi-Shell. But my mother, having barely and with loss of friends, family, dignity and sanity just ever sooo barely escaped the concentration camp and its gas chambers wanted only one thing for me:

To be SAVE!!!!!

Save from the next holocaust.

Save from the next power wielding set of madmen.

So she had devised a plan: Make the little baby christian and give her a christian name, so she would be spared, the next time around…..

My father wanted none of that. He hated christians and that they professed one thing and did quite the opposite when nobody was watching –like kill people by the thousands in the name of their god….

But with the name thing my mother had a point and she knew it. Using this little trick had saved my fathers first family – and himself on several occasions during his time as a spy for the Russians and later the Americans in WWII.

What little trick you ask?

Fake names: When you are making your living as a spy, fake names – lots of fake names and birth dates and home towns and whole fake families are a tool of the trade.

When WWII rolled around my father had gone to the forger and had made up a whole set of fake papers for his first wife, who was Jewish, for his daughter Mausi, my half sister and of course for himself. It saved Mausi and her mom from the fate that many others had no way of escaping.

Ada also dropped his father’s Russian name. Going into the forger’s office a Russian emigrant, he came back out a true blue German with a christian name to keep him safe on the job….. It was one of many names he used and the surname I grew up with and went to school with was …. well better not spill toooo many beans on the internet……

At home we had a beautiful coffee jar full of fake passports and drivers licenses and so on – all with different names and different professions and different birth dates – And all with my Ada’s picture on them. I used to play with them, when I was lonely….

But I entered school not as Mi-Shell – “What kind of a word is THAT?” the school clerk asked my father – and: “WHAT???? NO religion???? You HAVE to have a religion! Without it she can not be admitted into school. So, what is it? Catholic or protestant? God forbid, you are Jews…..”

Luckily I can not quite recall just what my father answered her, but it was LOUD, contained nasty words and went with lots of expansive hand and arm movements…… But it could not change everything:

I entered first grade as Michaela – but still no religion 🙂

But when asked my name I always told the teacher my real name and was corrected often with the remark ”Michaela for the archangel Michael!”

I hated that and blamed that “stupid angel” for it all!!

Well, in terms of names things for me were still going to get worse, when a month before my 10th birthday I was taken away from my pagan/ tribal parents and stuck into a christian orphanage where nobody had a name and we were known by the number of our arrival. I was child no 235

I would have given much for being named anything other than that and the hell that went with it…

where was that oh so holy angel then, when it was about keeping me safe from all that degrading mistreatment and abuse. He did not help the other kids either……

But My Clan Guardian, the Wolf, helped and I made it out of there – after 3 looong and painful years.

It was only after coming to Canada, that I finally re-claimed the name my father originally gave me ……………………………………..***……………………………………………….

 

After writing all this I have to “come up for clean fresh air” and so I will deal with the image on card in one of my next posts…..

 

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Because it can’t be said often enough: I’m very sorry that you and your family were treated so badly (which is an understatement), I’m very glad and grateful you made it through to become who you are today, and that your family found ways to protect themselves at least to some degree.

    Thank you for telling your story (at least the parts thereof that are suitable for publication)! It continues to touch me and make me think.

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