Today in Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Day of Rememberance. I am the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. Both of my parents, are victims of Nazi persecution and ended up in concentration camps. My mother survived Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen and my father survived Mathausen. This is how my mother spent her teen years and my father his mid twenties. But if the saying is true that you never get over your high school years, I can’t imagine how one gets over their experience.
But they came to the United States, met each other, married, raised a family. Arriving with an empty paper suitcase, and a pack of memories they “seemed” to fit into the American way of life. As first generation American I knew this was often difficult. My dad is now 96, and my mom is 89, but these past few years their earlier life is finding its way to the forefront. The details are now a bit fuzzy, and I’m glad that The Shoah Foundation recorded their testimonies many years ago. Now when I speak about this time they both spoke more freely, and less guarded. We all felt good, and so I will make more time to listen to their memories.
As history repeats this cycle of war and destruction I see the long term consequences on people, and the resilience and hard work needed to try and overcome the pain caused by war. So sad.