The Lakewood View

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Day the silence Won!

AhMbDvd....(Picking up the idea started on the previous page- the title is a link to where this piece starts).

The man looked at me with a straight face and said, "You know the entire Holocaust as we know it never happened". Many things went throuh my mind in a fleeting moment of shocked silence. My first thought was that I would be justified in throwing a good right hook right to his face, right now. Luckily it was just a thought. Then I wondered, of course this man has no way of knowing that my Grandfather (he should rest in peace)who was alive at the time somewhere in the early 80's, was a proud survivor of the Holocaust , and he managed to keep himself and his family, out of the concentration camps, and alive!

My Grandfather (he should rest in peace) shared his stories frequently, but these days I wonder what sort of secrets he might have carried with him to his grave.

Today my thoughts are much different but right then, it was only shock. Today I see people every now and then try to surpress the truth about this tragic event, but why?

Sometimes I hear this incredible tales at shul, of great man, tzadikim, who kept certain precious mitzvahs, even though they most assuredly faced their own death. For every story be it a man who's name we know, one can not help but wondering how many others, also had to give up their lives for the simple reason that they were jewish.

Every jew, be they frum or not frum, has an important personal responsibility to see that this dark period in our history must always be remembered and never forgotten

Then there were others, who miraculously managed to stay of the concentration camps, and survive.

I met one such survivor about a week ago, who affiliated himself with the Hidden Children Foundation. When he started to briefly tell me his story, as he was being appologetic about not being frum, he found a way to try to lessen his experince. In some manner I told him that he did not have to appologize for not ending up in a concentration camp, that my mom had survived in hiding, in Poland.

He started to tell me that he survived in Russia. I told him that his experience must "not have been a cake-walk" and that "you must have been hungry and cold. Then he began to share some details, all of which of course were uniquely his own. We were there on a Bikur Cholem call, so I was not truly trying to bring him into a depressive state. I did get a smile out of him with my "cake walk" comment. I also understand that the man has written a book.

Maybe years ago, as a young adult on a college campus I was shocked into silence, however I feel that this man was working on sharing his important story, and I know I did my part in getting him to share at least a small piece of his story with me.

Aharon Moshe October 14, 2007

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