Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our humanity in six million pieces

David Grossman tells how, with about nine years old he was aware of what had been the Holocaust and the responsibility to remember the victims involved, he did not want responsibility and shook everything up to then had been his world. It was probably at the same age when I made contact, if it is true that a much lower level, with the crimes of Nazism.

I doubt the first time I read the Diary of Anne Frank to understand too. I got to read it over 11 times in a year, "pointed out the dates on the back-and even devoured the diary of his friend Hanna and her father looked statements Otto, the only survivor of the family. Much later, I visited the Amsterdam house where Anne was hidden until he was deported to Auschwitz.

It has been 15 years and still afraid to take that book again and still not understand anything of what happened. Even now, as David Grossman, I am aware of the weight of history on my shoulders and, somehow happened to him, the anxiety of being responsible, in my case, not his memory but something like that again no happen, I could not rest.

How do we allow this to happen? The question resonates in my mind and merges with the words that Peres and Netanyahu spoke on Monday in Jerusalem, in the ceremony in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum on the occasion of Yom HaShoah, the day of the commemoration of the martyrs and Heroes of the Holocaust.

Until then, I thought I had been honored with the highest honors a non-Jew in Israel can get to thank: a wedding, dinner shabbath and a Pesach seder. Share every Friday shabbath dinners with my closest friends, to access this redoubt so typical, so familiar and so special to them, remains a whirlwind of mixed feelings, but the Act of Remembrance at Yad Vashem was what caused my final jolt, one to which Grossman refers when he says that taking consciousness of the Holocaust shook the world.

I always believed that there is no feeling that one more than sadness and no tears though these are forgotten. There is no greater honor that someone close to you, you show your pain, there is no greater honor than being invited hundreds of Jews to mourn their dead with them. The pain, when authentic, is shared only in the most extreme intimacy, because survival is a primal instinct and manifest vulnerability decreases the chances of survival.

And now that I've entered this area of vulnerability that we all share as human beings, I feel secure enough to admit that the day that you lost six millions of your brothers, sons, fathers in the day, we lost our humanity. And I keep wondering, how do we allow this to happen? Ten in the morning.

The siren sounds. Israel shuts down. One minute. Back to the past, back to you. To you, that changed your name to a number. To you, that you feel Hungarian, German, Ukrainian, Polish and left you stateless. To you your religion you sewed the chest with strips of cruelty. You, thrown into a pit, dismembered, cremated, gassed.

To you, that you drove in your home and you wore a bathing suit not to forget the joy of living. The sound of the siren is lost in silence. Back here, back to me. And I do not feel my body, because it was buried with yours. I do not remember who I was, because my identity was erased with yours.

I can not get breathe because my lungs are now full of gas. And I do not get life, because I'm broken in six million pieces. On a day like Yom HaShoah, we remember you, symbol of our humanity mortis. To you, who broke from the inside out, the rasgándote was perfect, breaking your bones.

To you, did you burn your own friends. To you, that allowed even throwing you against the electrified fence, because you had the privilege of suicide. To you, who survived the Final Solution, but not torture you wonder why you did it and others do not. Drag our tears drown your sorrow but our memory.

The work did not make you free, that our memory free your soul. Because only then, remembering and preventing it from happening again, get back the six million pieces in which, one day, we leave our humanity.

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