I love chocolate with peanut butter and one of my favourites, it's from Love Raw, vegan, organic, sugar-free, gluten-free and delicious: peanut butter chocolate cups.
Chocolate… Isabel Allende's aphrodisiac recipes in Aphrodite, the wonderful book she wrote to exorcise melancholy, years after the loss of her daughter. Absolutely delicious book in all aspects. The fabulous movie Chocolate, featuring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Aphrodite's revolution through chocolate. Recently I was in a delicious chocolate factory in Bali… And a story I recently met, which impacted and moved me to tears, shows us how a piece of chocolate has become a symbol of resistance, solidarity and hope for a pregnant woman in a Nazi concentration camp. The extraordinary story…
Francine Christophe was 8 years old when she was arrested by the German Nazi regime. Daughter of French Jews, she was taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with her mother. Francine says that being children of foreigners, they could take one or two items from home. Some women took sugar, some rice… Francine's mother took two pieces of chocolate. - My mother said to me, “Let's save them for a day when we completely collapse and really need help. I will give you this chocolate and you will feel better my daughter”. In the infamous camp, neither had ever eaten the chocolate. In their dormitory was also a pregnant woman imprisoned with them. “You can't imagine”… - said Francine - “She was so thin and weak”… “The day came and she went into labour; my mother, before taking her to the camp`s hospital said to me:
-Do you remember the chocolate I was keeping for you? How do you feel?
- Well, mommy.
"Well, then, if it's okay with you, I'd like to give it to this woman, our friend Helène. Giving birth here in a concentration camp is very difficult. She may not resist. If I give her the two pieces of chocolate, it might help…”.
- Yes, mommy, yes.
Helène gave birth. “Such a small baby”! ... She ate the chocolate ... She didn't die and went back to our dorm. Helène went to work in the camp`s field, with the baby wrapped in rags, hidden in her extremely thin body. The baby NEVER cried all this time. Six months later, the camp was liberated by the Allies. That was when women helped Hélène unwrap the child. At that moment, the baby cried for the first time! That's when she was truly born…
Francine returned to France, never saw Hélène again. She married, had children, and a few years ago, her adult daughter, talking to her about her time in the camp, said: “If you had the support of psychologists or psychiatrists when you came back, it might have been easier for you Mom”. - I answered, says Francine: “No doubt, but we didn't. No one thought about mental illnesses then. But you gave me a good idea, let's organize a public presentation about it.”- Francine organized the debate on the theme: "If the survivors had had psychological counselling in 1945, what would have happened?" The theme drew a crowd. Survivors, historians, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychotherapists registered both as speakers and/or participants. Very interesting. After my presentation, shares Francine, “a woman who had signed up to speak went up to the pulpit and said: “I live in Marseille, where I am a psychoanalyst. Before I start my presentation, I have something to give to Francine Christophe…” She put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a piece of chocolate. She handed it to me (Francine) and said: “I am the baby!
Wow! Apart from being deeply moved, this story made me think…. About what has been my chocolate… the chocolate that gave this pregnant woman comfort… who knows if that comfort saved her life? And her baby's? My chocolate… which has given me comfort in difficult times... sometimes it was a friend`s love… sometimes a book, even a quote I find that cheers me up and keeps me dreaming. A dream, like the ones I have always had in the most difficult moments of my life that came from the depths of the unconscious where the divine dwells, bring me new hope and new possibilities of rebirth, against all odds. My Soulcollages® - collages from my soul, my flamenco dance, reading poetry, my Goddesses altar, all at different times, were “my two pieces of chocolate”. As they are also sometimes, these sharing I write for you. What is your chocolate? What, in difficult times, does bring you from "there" to "here"? could you share your two pieces of chocolate with me?
With love and chocolate!