Cover Photo: This photograph shows a Berlin synagogue against a deep blue sky. The synagogue is built with sandy-colored bricks and the three towers are bright with gold detailing. A star of David stands up from the middle tower and serves as a small focal point for the center of the photograph
Photograph by Ansgar Koreng/Wikimedia Commons

How My Grandma Reclaimed Her Femininity and I Shed Mine

While I am shedding my femme clothes, I’m reminded of how my grandmother reclaimed her femininity, stolen from her by the Nazis, with a new dress.

They inject usSo we have no children.

I was lucky, mine fit.

Isn’t this exactly the reason for my Jewish nose?

where she wore only a thin piece of cotton as a dress. She worked in a factory with about one thousand other Hungarian women to rebuild bombs with mustard gas, which rotted her teeth.

Was a girl, her name is Anot, had perfect German. Lunchtime, they say not too far, not too far. We thought, maybe we will be free. rfree.

Don’t want us to be put in back Auschwitz. He was really good.

We left the camp maybe nine o’clock. By eleven o’clock we don’t see any Germans.

One girl, she was a seamstress. She make us each a dress from the curtain! The women at the oven, they say, your dress was made from my curtain!

Jenna Zucker is a senior at Barnard College majoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They are writing a memoir about their relationship with their grandmother, their queer identity, and their grandmother's survival of the Holocaust.