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Why leave Berlin for Paris? An unemployed man with no friends, Eli G., with a wife, Vera, and one child to feed, Karl, got fifty-one mark a month (1931) in relief. Vera budgeted:

Per month = 51 mark

rent, electricity, heat, outings = 32.50 mark

feed family = 18.50 mark

Per day                       

½ loaf bread

2 ½ kilo potatoes

100 grams cabbage

50 grams margarine

Per adult per day

6 potatoes

5 slices bread

knob margarine

fistful cabbage

herring on 2 Sundays out of 4

Child per day

½ liter milk

herring on 3 Sundays out of 4

Young and foreign, Eli had been a member of the Red Front Fighters’ League in the Wedding District when he caught sight of Vera, a bright-eyed medical student who wanted to find a cure for all cancers. He was at a meeting on Bülowplatz at Karl Liebknecht House. After the meeting, Eli, Eleazer, Baruch and Shmerl and other members of the Red Front kicked a makeshift soccer ball around the square. Eli missed a kick when he turned to gape at orange curling hair. From far off Vera was a friendly, hovering hummingbird.

            Eli asked Shmerl, Who is she?

            Shmerl answered without hesitation, Her dialectic is razor sharp.            

Flying backwards with him away from Viktoria Park, Vera didn’t resist.            

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