Thursday, May 1, 2008

In Remembrance

The horror of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against Jews is fading. Dor l'dor, generation to generation compels us to remember. To remember the names of the 6 million. To remember the shetls that no longer exist. With the help of the Holocaust Center of Northern California I was able to find out the fate of the town my great-grandfather and grandfather came from. There is nothing left. The buildings were destroyed. More than 3,000 of its inhabitants and others from the surrounding country-side were murdered. 2,000 of the murders occurred in November 1941. 1,500 were murdered on a summer day, June 26, 1942. In 1943, 1,000 Jews from Transnistria were murdered. Unlike many who can go back to the "old country", to visit the places their grandparents came from, I and many others cannot. The shetls were destroyed. Ah, but the people, the people, their bodies may have been extinguished but not their memories.

At the Yad VaShem web-site, very brief paragraphs remember the lives of those who perished. One is Varshavskaya Braina. At 55, her life was cut all to short by the rifles of the Ukranians and Germans at Babi Yar. The paragraph doesn't say if she had children or grandchildren. It mentions she was a dentist. It gives her place and year of birth. It gives the date and time of place of her death. But what of the life she lived? What possible menace could a 55 year old dentist possibly pose to the world? And yet, today, some still believe she would be a menace only because of the fact she was a Jew.

I remember Varshavskaya Braina.

And for all of the 6 million, I hope you remember as well:

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