It is always that time of year when we reflect on what matters to us and on what has happened in the passing of those years. Then it is down to all of us as to what we all choose to Remember. It never gets any easier and for me, there are 6,000,000 strong reasons why it should never rest easy with any of us! Our own Mother’s would not want any of us to sit back and forget that so many souls were deprived of the validity of their being, their very existence and have been extinguished from time. That responsibility, if nothing else, is a gift which our Mother’s of today can deliver from that dark past. Their light can best exemplify the tortured present and motion us toward a better and more understanding future. History must always expect that we should remember that need for truthful memory and it would fully expect us only ever to honour that memory.
I remember with pertinence the loss of Mother’s everywhere, and from within The Holocaust term, the number’s of Mother’s taken from a World in need of all their shared support. There are times I suspect when there is this need to say so much more than I do, which is all the more relevant because of those who did not Survive and require the voice that we do deliver on their behalf. We remember so little of their past because of the absence of so much and it is all from those who have been taken from us. The writing was clearly on the walls as Hitler came to power and the utter contempt in his expression was not alarming enough for a World which stood aside. As Hitler drove a wedge between us all and humanity, the very lives of the Jews of Europe were plundered from existence. No one today deserves to know better than the Jewish People how the World feels about the grave wrong we allowed to happen.
At a cost to all of humanity of 6,000,000 Jewish lives we too are perhaps aware what this must mean to the Jews of today. But then, what it means to humanity is difficult to gauge when we are presented with a lack of prevailing Justice over such a Catastrophe. The Holocaust resonates so purposefully today, and in order to remember and to never forget I spend my time working toward that remembrance. The effect for all who seek an understanding of what was done and achieved, in a comprehension we may never reach, is also an accusation for what was allowed and what could have been prevented. It is clear that The Holocaust has not cleansed the soul nor marked humanity any better than to have shown we have yet to learn. The stain for each of us, discoloured with an uncivilised hatred that has perpetually branded us, persists.
There is a fact of how impressed all those around Hitler were with that same hatred and how engaged they became with that very same hatred. Without Hitler we are assured, and we can be certain, that 6,000,000 Jews of Europe would not have been murdered. The fact that European Jewry was so systematically and brutally sought out for the slaughter is clear. That these Jews were inflicted with a loss so unbearable, death came and took that event that torture away from them. For me, Mother’s are born as marvellous Women who have the propensity to be wonderful Mother’s, role model’s and the perpetuators of human existence. Take that away and the entire bridge which delivers us from the dark ages falls into an abyss. That abyss has been crowded with the abominable hatreds of our past and has been stacked with the Blood and Bodies of 6,000,000 Jews whose road to disaster was devised by one man, Adolf Hitler.
While there should be only good to say about any people, we know it is irreverent to speak without contempt for Hitler. Today though, that singular disdain has infected many so much that that some will not allow any human concern or condolence to be said of these Jewish People. These like Hitler minded hate filled miscreants, cannot be allowed to devour the memory of those whose lives have already been consumed. There are many other’s just like Kurt Gerstein who thought that it was morally wrong to behave in such a callous way toward the Jews. Hatred is the province of those who see no provenance in humanity’s diversity. There is a labouring over details which subvert any charitable empathy and sympathy for our fellow man, and woman. The specific detail of The Holocaust is quite clearly gender definitive as the fundamental face of intolerance seeks to ensure Jewish proliferation.
In assessing the 6,000,000 Jews of The Holocaust there is simply not enough detail to fix securely nor with any accuracy into the numbers of Women, Girls, Females and the Mother’s amongst them murdered to deliver the overall catastrophe. The bias, bigotry and racism of the slaughter took no account of the gender specific and the Female of our species was treated if no more harshly, then equally as violently, maliciously and deadly. It was all horrible for both sexes but I imagine the bond which delivered the Mother and Child to the door of the Gas Chamber and the protective arm which did not want the Child to know what was coming would be crushing to any Parent, a Mother, even more so. Any selection process within the Death Camp eventually segregated the sexes and all Children were assigned to destruction with the Mother.
This is not to say that the anguish was any less for the Father, who was witness to the total annihilation of all that they had known and loved. But who could know the level of grief that was to be delivered in advance of the destructive process. It is imperative that we clearly recognise that Mother’s are the Daughter’s, Grandmother’s, Sister’s, Wives, Aunts and Nieces to us all. That does not alter because Hitler sought to disguise the truth of his final solution! While much has been given over to the numerical account of The Holocaust, any gender specific detail of those Females in the Holocaust is heavily lacking. What we can state, as we are aware that of the 6,000,000 Jews of Europe murdered in The Holocaust, as many as 3,000,000 of these were Females. That is not to say that Hitler targeted these Females because of their Gender.
Hitler devised The Final Solution only because of his hatred for the Jews and as Jews, Females were likewise sought out for the Slaughter. So while we contemplate the psychological trauma that each and every Female surely faced, it must be remembered that even the Racial theory espoused by Hitler’s failed ideology was negated. Women, Girls, Females in general were the victims of wide spread physical and sexual abuse. The resulting rapes of so many Jewish Females, virtually before the door of the Gas Chamber or the Killing site must beg the question, what has History done to claim any sort of Justice for their violation. We simply cannot gloss over the role of men of the SS, Wehrmacht, Reserve Police and the full cadre of German collaborators in this most specious of crimes. Can their be an emotional closure for those who must suspect the deviant nature of those who returned from what they perpetrated in The Holocaust.
It is an essential need that people read the words of Ruth Bondy, Lucy Dawidowicz, Charlotte Delbo, Anne Frank, Etty Hillesum, Deborah Lipstadt, Wendy Lower, Rochelle Seidl, Nechama Tec and Susan Zuccotti amongst so many, just to gain and understand from a Female perspective what was relevant to the actions Hitler took against the Jews. The procreation of the species Homo Sapien cannot exist without the Mothering, careful nurturing and bonding which Women present to all of Humanity. We have to see to the humanistic dimensions of our study, which Women writers deliver to our appreciation of this grave wrong. Titles in works reflect what it must have meant for women to persist in the first place, endure in the next phase and then only to succumb in the final phase of their lives. There is of course a grave choice and in the Children We Remember that choice is either To Forgive, But Not Forget.
The odds were stacked against the persistence of any Jew and so much so that many of them made A Jump for Life, stumbled from a resettlement transport only to be confronted again by an inevitable decree which sought them for extinction. When we take that leap ourselves and move our carefully manicured lives to a place Beyond Imagination, we enter a hell which placed innocent people into the jaws of destruction. With the refrain in history acknowledging for them that while I Am a Star, this was the cry which delivered ordinary, innocent people toward the furnace because of their Jewish antecedence. Can we as writers add any less to this delivery of gifting and affording all of us an emotional attachment to a conflagration which wholly devoured a Jewish People. As Men deliver the terms of The Holocaust in historical terms, with a data analysed assessment of the Catastrophe, we have to be chastened by the emotional depths we are grasped with and are plunged into such a depressive realisation we have difficulty with its terms.
Do not get me wrong, Dawidowicz delivers some of the most accurate accounts of Hitler’s undertaking so it would be wrong to assume that male writers cannot deliver the truth on an emotional level, just as women can do. Levi and Wiesel are so adept at delivery, we are clearly swept along on an emotional roller coaster. I think, as I seek to add depth to the despair that emanates from the midst of the pain and terror, it is the Woman, Female, Mother whose instincts have been heightened by an intense fear which will balance out the Human dimension of the devastation. We know too from a writer that indeed, Hope Is The Last to Die, all of which clearly adds to everything we can attempt to comprehend. There are of course these Flares of Memory, an elaborate trail of hopes and fears all laid to waste, 6,000,000 times. Truly that is all we have left in this study which seeks to replace with memory those 6,000,000 Jewish souls who have perished.
That they were taken beyond all recognition by an evil sprung from the errant make up of a man called Adolf Hitler, is as apparent as it is shocking. The level of appreciation given over to what was deliberately a War Against the Jews sees the consignment of Children of the Flames toward an eternity no one had any right to impose upon them. But here we are, finding a sensitivity so deeply emotional, it is a Mother, a Female who can deliver the message with clarity, detail and with a sentiment that reveals our own humanity. These words presented here are delivered as an emotional account with a connection to the memory of those whose moving turmoil was brought to its deepest and most anxious state. It is very much a Triumph of Hope that is brought toward us from these depths and they afford the presence of humanity a hope, should we acknowledge the need to grasp it. From The Diary of a Young Girl we gain an insight into what must be hidden in order to protect all from what awaited.
That picture of An Interrupted Life has been so well written, it leaves an indelible mark on all of those who wish to see the picture which emerges. The framework of this revealing account all adds to an interpretation of horror which we must gain, and After Such Knowledge, we have to be enabled to deal with the complexities of what happened in order to get humanity back on a civilising track. As with any effort to come to terms with The Holocaust, it is considered by me from outside and is All But My Life which paints the Landscapes of Memory into a broader understanding we have yet to avail of. For us, it is important to Inherit the Truth so that we can lend to history an appreciation of an atrocious episode in civilisation that can deliver for the future The Enduring Spirit of tolerant understanding.
We know that in that single moment When Light Pierced the Darkness, things could alter, people could move toward extraordinary levels of compassion. With a level of Resilience and Courage these tolerant people would stand taller than most in national governments had indeed managed. Do we simply then exonerate ourselves, allow posterity to deliver a posthumous record of this hatred, offer Memorial Candles and leave it to others to bring humanity back to where it is again recognisable. I have chosen a track that has now delivered me to the gates of Auschwitz and Birkenau and I have stood on the desecrated soil of such devastation, it is a well churned cemetery of an even greater horror than our imagination could ever envisage. I have entered the realm of Belzec, Majdanek and Sobibor and I am amazed at the ease with which society could witness these spaces, and in such close proximity, that there are so many who had chosen to either ignore what they witnessed or decided to benefit from what they were aware of.