Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hell of The Holocaust

Today in Charleston, survivors of the Holocaust were gathered for a memorial service downtown. It made me think of a story that my Mama told me when I was a young girl and had checked out The Diary Of Anne Frank from the library at school. I don't know why I chose that book but I couldn't put it down and felt terrible for the young girl who had to live in cellars and attics and to depend on the kindness of others to bring food and water because going out to get it herself would almost certainly mean capture and death for her and her family.
But I digress and this is not a book report. Mama and I talked about life in Germany for the Jews and I almost couldn't believe any human could be hunted down and killed just for being what you were, born to whomever, were your parents. I must have seemed doubtful so she told me that when she was younger, before I was born, not much before, there was a neighbor from Germany and she was a Jewish girl.  She told my Mom that her grandfather had been killed and that later her grandmother, mother, and herself were taken to one of the gas camps. Somehow, I am not sure of this part, she and her parents were freed and she came to the U.S after marrying a soldier. Her grandfather was the first to be killed she said. Apparently the Germans found him out in his fields, working. When they determined he was a Jew, they dragged him back to his barn and nailed him to the front of it. His screams brought her grandmother out and they stripped his flesh from him while she watched. Her grandmother was never the same after that, and I can believe that. I can't fathom what goes on in the mind of the fiends who devise tortures and terrors to inflict on the innocent...
That made it all real to me, however, and I found a new appreciation for the Diary of Anne Frank...

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