Monday, January 10, 2005

Holocaust survivors, the second generation (1)

My mother...

Chicken soup on Friday night and feeling Jewish mostly because of the deep sorrow we had to carry... not very inspiring. My mother (may she rest in peace) suffered from KZ syndrome as Bergen-Belsen survivor. I was named after her father, who was murdered in front of my mother's eyes, a few months before liberation. I remember her lying on the ground, foaming... I must have been three years old.

I grew up in the sixties in a little town and vividly remember the anti-Semitic aggression I encountered. Whenever I was confronted with anti-Semitism - in my recollection almost weekly - it felt like “they” were attacking my mother and by fighting “them” I felt like defending her. I remember my anger just because of the fact that I wasn’t born earlier so I could have protected my mother.

Sorrow and pain, a lot of pain… that’s how I remember my youth. I must have had nice moments too, but looking back they seem to be covered by a blanket of dark memories.

To the next post in the "second generation" sequence

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