Sunday, April 15, 2007

Freedom requires vigilance

Today is Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Rememberance Day - in the Hebrew Calendar. I thought it would be good to blog about Coby's grandad so he can see it when he gets older.

Coby's Grandad Lipa survived, amazingly, those tragic events but paid a high price - he was the only surviving member of his immediate family.

On these days I think of the Aunt and cousins I will never know, of the Grandparents I never met. Dad always told me I was like his Dad. Wish I could have met him.

From 1939-1945 Dad was in many concentration camps, principally:


He was 13 when he entered his first concentration camp. 13!!! He was liberated at just 19. I already know he is Coby's hero. He is certainly mine. The stories he told. The time he nearly took a bullet from an SS officer for stealing potatoes but got a good kicking from a sympathetic guard instead. The time he told me about the crippled dying man who dragged himself out the hut to prove he could work - the SS were not convinced. The time my father saved his friend Benny's life, literally. And my dad was only 13 to 19 years old. Whenever I think life is tough I think of my dad and what he endured. I think of the stories he told and the stories he never could.

My father never really came to terms with what he saw. Pointless murder after pointless murder. He saw innocent people dehumanised, lined up and shot. Mothers, Fathers, Children, Babies. And the shot ones were arguably lucky. Babies stamped on. Children experimented on. Entire families gassed together. No ceremony. No dignity. No mercy.

And today, whilst we all sit comfortably blogging and reading such crimes still occur against others in places like Darfur. Do something about it. Lobby your MP. Tell others about it.



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