I am not Jewish.
I'm not saying that's good or bad. That's just how it is.
The Holocaust will never be as personal for me as it is for others whose families suffered and survived.
Yet here I am, hosting Holocaust Remembrance Week on my blog, because I feel that it is important for all of us to remember what the world lost in a horrific war about 70 years ago. The numbers of survivors and witnesses are dwindling now, so it's all the more important that those of us who came after carry on remembering and doing our best to make sure that we never let something like that happen again.
My grandfather was in the European theater during WWII. As far as I know, he never spoke about what he saw over there. I don't even know if he encountered any camps or if he only saw armies fighting. Again, that's not good or bad, that's just the way that he dealt with it. It was a different generation. They didn't talk things out. They buried them and did their best to move on. My grandfather passed away 18 years ago, taking all those memories with him, never to be shared with anyone.
I'm sure there are so many survivors and soldiers and civilians who were like him. It was easier to try to leave behind what they lived through and saw. That's why it's important that we read and watch and listen to those who did share their experiences. Most of us can't conceive of the horrors of the Holocaust. It's impossible to even wrap our minds around the numbers involved. Six million lives lost. The number is so big, it's meaningless.
Yet we must make meaning out of it. By focusing on one person's story, either in non-fiction or fiction and in any medium, we can start to realize what went on, and exactly how the world has changed forever afterward. We don't know what any of those victims would have done with their lives. Most would probably have quietly loved and lived, the way most of us do, but we lost some brilliant minds too. What would Anne Frank have written if she had lived? What kind of scientific discovery would a nameless schoolboy have made? The beautiful young woman we lost in her prime--what music might her unborn children have written for us? Our world has been forever altered.
So, I have several reviews and a few other things lined up this week. I hope that you'll join me in posting your own reviews or thoughts or anything else that you'd like to share in your own personal act of remembrance.
Link your posts on Mr. Linky below. If you're unable to participate this week, I hope you'll read some posts and find recommendations to check out in the future. To get you started, there's already a fairly substantial list of recommendations in my event announcement.
- Review: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
- Review: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Review: Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
- Character Connection: Elizabeth McKenna from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- Review: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman