Sunday, 3 June 2012

A Hand and a Name:

Sprite Day 21 May 2012
Yad v'Shem

My foot steps echo across the museum and even over the dull hum of hundreds of soldiers and students on tours I can hear the resounding noise as my foot hits the floor. I vagely listen to the tour guide telling us facts and history we've heard before as I walk around the museum. I see images I've seen before and watch as people around me start to break down from what must be a terrible emothional turmoil.
I have goose bumps on my arms and a sinking feeling in my stomach as I genuinely switch off from the world around me. I barely feel any kind of feeling towards the words and images being hurled at us hoping to get some sort of emotional response. Its like were being forced to have some kind of emothional connection to people whom we don't know, but have a vague connection through "Religion", "Common Beliefe".'
I wonder how I should feel, and if theres something wrong with me for not doing it.
My mind is distracted by the people, I dont want political facts. I want stories. My ears prick up at the begining of a personal story of a survivour. The voice that had been a dull hum in the back of my mind is now brough forward to the front of my brain. Concerntration.
Broken specticles have been reassembled in a glass case next to an old picture. Our tour guide proceeds to tell us of the little girl who sewed her mothers specticles into her clothes whilst in the concerntration camps. She told us how the, now groen up girl, came to the museum with a bad full of shards. She said they were worthless in monetry value but had all the value in the world as a story of one more perso that will now be remembered.
My favorite part of the museum is the shoe display. A mixture of high heels, work boots, sandals and modest shoes lay under thick glass in a pilke of brown and black shoes. I stood over it, as i had three years ago and my knees felt weak. How sould something that we wear everyday, that we take for granted be so powerful? Shoes are so expressive of people, and its something I've been facinated by over my years of adolecence. Each shoe told a story- A bussiness man, a farm worker, an old woman, children and even a high class lady who wore heels- Its hard to comprehend that poeple from all oer the social and economic spectrum died in the same way. Striped of human qualities and alone in the world.
A unity beyond any that we could hope for today. Its just a little unfortunate as to the situation...
Five candles reflect thousands of little flecks of light through the dark mirrored room as a voice reads out the names and ages of children murdered during the holocast. My hads fumble in the dark, shaking, as I remember the yellow ribbon attached to my pin board in South Africa. Rosetta, aged 9. I think of her almost everymorning when I'm at home, and how it must have been to be that young, confused alone, during world war 2. What would you have done? What could you have done?


6 Million?

Numbers are too much to comprehend.

One name.

One story.

Thats all you need to remember.