Best Friends Find Themselves On Trial Nearly 12 Years After Triple Murder

I recently wrote this as an answer elsewhere, but I think it applies here, as well:

I was born within a decade of the end of the Holocaust. My mother's mother's family-- her 14 siblings, their spouses and children and grandchildren of those that had, were massacred, shot into a pit. Only one managed to survive and crawled out of the pit naked at night and made it into the forest to fight with partisans until he could make it to the Holy Land.

My parents had scary views that they passed on to me and my siblings. After moving from a semi-rural area to a famous suburb in 1960 when I was 5 and half, all but 2 other families on our street were gentiles. These neighbours said strange things, like 'Jews print money in their basements' or 'Jews killed G-d'. 2 families wouldn't let us watch/babysit their children. Girls my age wouldn't play with me on Sundays because they said I would sully their souls. One family invited us to decorate their holiday tree and the mother, after her own mother yelled at her for letting jews (she actually used the term christ-killers) in the house, said that she hoped if we saw the beauty of their religion we would eventually become christians. My mother told me that all but one of the families (who were very gentle kind people) on the street would line up to gladly push us into the ovens if they could and take all of our stuff.

When I was about 10 I told my father that I wanted to have 12 children some day. He told me that Jews shouldn't do that anymore, because whenever our population grew in any place people wanted to kill us off.

My parents were friendly toward all of the neighbours although not close friends except for that one family that my mother said wouldn't push us into the ovens. My mother taught sewing for free to many women on the street after they admired the matching dresses she had made for my sisters and me. My father, a carpenter, helped many people for free with finishing off their basements or attics. THey did this partly because kindness is a high value for us, but also I am sure (although they didn't say so) that they wanted to show that we are good and helpful.

Even though the views might have been based on reality and valid theoretically, it scared the heck out of me as a child and I was wary of anyone not Jewish, afraid to get too close or trust. I grew up and went out into the world afraid that anyone and everyone was out to kill me and mine. I was afraid to be noticed, thought I should fade into the background, or at most I should be helpful so people wouldn't want to kill me.

Thank G-d, over the years I have learned about gentile people who helped my people, even at great risk, and I have met people and have become close true friends with good people from different cultures. There are some places I will not go anymore (I lived in Ireland in the summer for many years and won't go back again now) and there are many more countries that are once again a danger for me and mine. However, thank G-d, there is one big difference now: Israel and the Israeli army. They protect not only the land and places within it to which I have historical, cultural, and religious attachment and where my ancestors lived, but they also protect and rescue Jews wherever we are and provide a haven for us that we did not have access to or control over for a long time. So I know that there is a safe place for me somewhere on earth, thank G-d. That gives me courage to be myself and to security to breathe freely.

Source :

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