As a young child I hadn’t known much about the reality of the Holocaust.
As I grew older I began to hear people discussing it. Often friends would talk about the experiences their grandparents had gone through or how many of their family had been murdered.
As someone who went to an ultra Orthodox school I was in the minority. I had no personal experience with all this.
I didn’t have the Bubba sitting in a rocking chair recounting what happened. I didn’t have the guilt being placed on me by relatives about how lucky I am to be alive after “all your relatives died”.
My dad’s side were British and as far as I understand had no involvement at all in the Holocaust as they were in the UK.
On my Mum’s side the Holocaust was something she hadn’t even heard of until her late teens. Her side are from Lebanon and they didn’t even mention it. It was a non event. Something no one was told about.
So, while all those around me were learning about the horrors of what had happened during those hellish years by osmosis, I knew very little.
At some point I became more and more curious as I would hear people talk, visitors to our school or Saturday afternoon discussions, and I wanted to learn more.
I went out of my way to borrow practically all the autobiographies in my local library. I was especially curious about those written by young women. Teenagers and young mothers.
Over time I read so many books and began to learn and understand what had gone on.
I also started going to homes for the elderly and would talk to the men and women about what they remembered. I found it interesting how some couldn’t remember what they had eaten for lunch but could recount in detail things they had witnessed decades earlier.
As I grew older and became aware that as the years went by the survivors would be less and less it began to affect me and I was hungry for more information. More interaction.
I would listen to anyone who had been alive at the time and asked so many questions. I have always loved knowing about people’s lives and been a curious person.
And sadly today I had almost forgotten it was Holocaust Memorial Day were it not for my daughter who reminded me and showed me something she had shared with her friends.
Note to self. Despite not being involved in the Jewish community or having anything to do with Jews in my day to day life, some things cannot be forgotten. And this is one of them.
On Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 – RIP all the 6 million Jews killed as well as all the other nationalities and LGBT people slaughtered just for being themselves.
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