Monday, October 22, 2007

Yad Vaschem

At the end of the day, after walking the Temple Mount, the Via Dolorosa and navigating our way through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we drove across the city to the Yad Vaschem (sp?) which is the Holocaust Museum and entered the shrine to the million and a half children who were slaughtered by the Nazis.
The architecture is architecture at its best, with each building and its surroundings speaking to the larger narrative of memory, truth, hope and resilience. The first building we entered was a burial ground of ashes from all the concentration camps. And there was Dachau, the camp my father was part of liberating as a young G.I. Beneath the plaque were ashes from those souls extinguished by Nazi hate. My eyes welled with tears of pride in my dad being part of the forces that stopped the monster.
I am my father's son because each succeeding year becomes more poignant to me that my dad is a liberator; one who was part of the Allied response to Hitler's final solution. My dad told me some years ago that when he arrived at the gates to Dachau and saw what Hitler had done, he instantly realized that this war was righteous and he was doing the right thing. Would that our causes would be so clear and resolute today. Would that moral rightness would overturn politcal expediency and the latest polls.
As you enter Yad Vaschem, they have a memorial garden to the righteous; those non-Jews who stepped in to help rescue Jews and stop Hilter. Who are the righteous today acting on behalf of the innocents in Darfur, Gaza, Sudan, and Congo ( to name a few)?


At 2:08 PM , Anonymous Lyle said...

Hi Donn,
A moving account. Your entry notes have been moving around the Samarkand Dining Room at lunch today as residents caught up with you and other of their friends.


At 2:12 PM , Blogger Ruth Kelley said...

Beautifully written Donn - I too am the child of one who liberated. I wonder also who will act in this time on behalf of the innocent? Are our causes so muddled that, perhaps, decisions become too difficult? Thank you for your heart felt honesty and cause for thought. Blessings on you all.


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