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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Words Are Hard To Come By (A Memory)

This is disturbing....

Words are hard to come by.

My Hungarian CATHOLIC grandmother sat me down to watch a documentary about Hitler's "final solution"

I was ten years old. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards. It's still extremely hard for me to watch anything about it. My memory sometimes isn't always there for current events but, things like that? Oh, yes indeed!

My ex's dad, Richard, liberated a camp and because he spoke fluent Polish, he was used as an interpreter. He was 20 years old and had survived the Battle of the Bulge. Years later, and I'll never forget this, we're were having dinner in Denny's.

Now Richard was a pretty laid back guy, so you have to know that for starters. He was friendly but not a "butt-in-ski" by any stretch of the imagination. He was more of a "groaner joke, bad pun" kind of guy. He was also somewhat deaf, having been an anti-tank/anti-aircraft gunner and then a Master Carpenter. He wore hearing aids but they weren't super-duper!

(This of course was years after I had seen Herta's tattoo on her arm. I never forgot that either. But that's another story.)

At the table next to ours were a couple of guys in their late 20s, kind of young-ish white collar types. One said something about the concentration camp being "way over exaggerated" and the whole thing was not nearly as bad, etc.etc. And that it was all Jewish propaganda, etc. etc. Very hoity-toity tone, very dismissive. Very Revisionist History.

Richard, that easy-going man, then in his sixties and in not the greatest health (fused spine, walked on crutches), whipped around in his chair, stood up (fast) and gave those three guys a loud lesson in history starting with,

"I was THERE, you ignorant little assholes! I saw it all! I liberated a camp. Don't you DARE tell me it didn't exist!"

Etc. etc.etc. It was about a five minute rant and even my ex had never heard most of what Richard related to these young guys. At the end they were mentally cowering, heads lowered in shame and embarassment.

I remember feeling very proud and awed because Richard had the guts to do what so many people DON'T do: speak up, tell the truths he witnessed. I wish I could remember everything he said, but I do remember being totally stunned that he was cussing and swearing, which he almost never did!

You can cut and paste the link below if you wish.....There aren't any diead bodies, just so you know.....
The Only Surviving Album of Auschwitz
This is the story of a Hungarian Jewish woman who survived Auschwitz and found a coat belonging to a guard which she took to shield her from the cold immediately after her liberation.
In the pocket of this coat she found a photo album. It contained pictures of what went on in this extermination camp. Imagine her reaction when she saw a picture of herself coming off of the train as well pictures of her family who were already murdered.
This album at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem was donated by this woman in 1980 and will forever be displayed there. When you have 5 minutes of peace and quiet in front of your computer, watch it and consider passing it around to people that you know so they can share it and know about it.
It is truly moving and important.
See link under:

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