Friday, January 2, 2015

Forgotten voices

This book, everyone has to read. There are SO many lessons to be learnt. It puts your life into perspective, and suddenly you realise that whatever you're going through, is actually NOTHING compared to what some of these people have gone through. 

You need to read this.

Here are some quotes and stories that I've picked out. 

"Once he said to me, "You are very nice, I will never kill you with the others." Then he showed me a beautiful flowering tree and said, ' I will kill you separately and I will put you under that tree.' I once painted a self portrait with that tree. I sold the picture and called it 'Childhood Memories', but I'm certain the buyer didn't know what kind of memories they were."  - Alicia Adams, Polish Jewish slave labourer 

"We did not have to force the Jews to those places, they were given the command and they went like sheep, no resistance at all. The children were with them, small ones and bigger, everybody was killed- a mother, a father and child would lie down together. We thought about this ourselves-how parents would feel if their child was shot in their presence- and we shot the parents first because the child would not feels as much. Sometimes women would cry, but in most cases they didn't, neither did they shout." - Juozas Aleksynas, member of the 12th and 13th Lithuanian police battalions. 

"A very nasty incident happened on the way. In front of us were a young couple who lived not far from Lingen. The father had a little child on his hand and the mother had a child in her arms. One of the SS came and said to the little child, 'Would you like a sweetie?' The child very shyly said, 'Yes' So the SS man said, 'Open your mouth.' The child did so and he shot through the mouth of the child. My father said, 'My God! Whats going to happen here!'. -Ruth Foster, Young German Jewish woman.

"But I want to tell you how hungry I was. I had no knife, only a tin and I thought I would go and try to cut a piece off one of the dead. I had to have something to eat. I started to move on all fours, and just then they started taking them away. I mention this to show how terrible hunger is. Had I done it, cut from the dead, meat, I don't think i could have lived with myself, but at the time...hunger is the most terrible thing. Only someone who has experienced it can understand. It can make a man do the most unbelievable things." -Ignacz Rub, Hungarian Jewish man. 

"There was friendship, a sense of humour, there was singing even in the most terrible moments." - Michael Etkind, Polish Jewish youth. 

"   But I said, ' But we have to talk about something, a dream, something we will have when we get back from this horrible camp.'
   And we did it day after day until he said, 'I can't take any more, I don't want to live.'
   And he just dropped dead. And I tell you, its the will to live that kept you alive, it was really that fragile. Psychological and spiritual strength, I think, did give some support to the body, and if you didn't have it, you died. " - George Hartman, Czech Jewish youth.


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