Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Warsaw ghetto

I had imagined the ghetto as being a gated small area but when you think of the Jewish population at the time, they had to find an area to contain 370,000 people.  The area of the ghetto is enormous. The Jews were brought to a platform called the Umschlagplatz - which was like a waiting station before being put in the ghetto.  Now, on that spot, stands a huge memorial to the Jews who lost their lives in that ghetto.  What's interesting about the memorial is that it's a huge wall with Jewish names listed according to the alphabet. And you can't stop reading those names. You see these names and you know people who share these same names - Josef, Chawiwa, Sura, Yizrael, Jakob etc.... Even with the Polish spelling, we know everyone on that wall. And what's worse is that you can't help searching through that list to see if you can find your own name on that wall. (My name was spelled Chawa) And yes, it's a morbid thing to do but it's subconscious.  You don't realize you've done it until your eyes lock onto your own name etched in the marble.  And it makes you realize that if not for the year you were lucky enough to be born in, it could have been you standing on that platform....
What Zvi, Yitzi and I all noticed was that both my grandparents names where there - one on top of the other just a few rows apart... Majlech and Regina

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