Sunday, April 18, 2004

Tonight is the beginning of Holocaust Memorial Day. This is a time to remember, learn and teach. It’s not as if we don’t remember, learn and teach all the year round, how can we not? But this is a day set aside specially for that.

I’m doing this online writing course, and just my luck I had to write a humorous piece this week. It’s due in tomorrow. I have had it in mind all week, worrying about how I could possibly write anything remotely funny, when I’m feeling heavy inside. I managed to jot something down yesterday, planning to read it again today before sending it off. But today I found I couldn’t bear to read it, so I just sent it. I hope I haven’t made too many spelling mistakes.

Bish says that there is nothing you can’t joke about. He jokes about dying all the time.

Some day I would like to visit Poland and see where my family came from. From what I’ve seen on TV, Poland isn’t too hot, especially the villages. The Sephardis here laugh at the Polish Jews that, with all their airs and graces and snobbery, where they came from wasn’t much to boast about either. But I want to see anyway. And I want to see where they most likely ended up, the ones that didn’t get out on time. I want to smell the air, and feel the gravel under my feet. I know I’m only on this earth by chance.

My mother once said that after the war, family members that had survived started arriving. And they sat in the living room and told their stories. At first the grown ups thought that maybe it would not be suitable for the child to hear, but the relatives told their stories in Yiddish, so the grown ups reckoned she wouldn’t be able to understand anyway.

What they didn’t realize was that she had grown up during the war in the same house as her grandparents and she had learnt to understand their language.

So she sat undisturbed, and she heard it all.

I couldn’t care less about Rantissi. Good riddance.

Maybe you would like to visit the Yad Vashem site.