Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Holocaust: That's a Depressing Topic!!

Today I am taking a teacher/friend from my high school to The Pratt Mansion for a workshop on the holocaust. Mrs. Farkas is a holocaust survivor. I learned about the holocaust when I was about 9 years old and it has always horrified me being that I am Jewish.

I remember going with my best friend and her parents to their Garden City country club. A short while before arriving she told me "Just don't mention that you're Jewish." "Why?" , I had asked. "My country club doesn't allow Jews or Blacks."she responded. If at my young age of ten I could have taken another form of transportation home, I would have. "How could my best friend belong to a club that doesn't allow Jews or Blacks???" I felt stuck...like i was incognito...yet why?

My mother had taught me early about prejudice being wrong and I had seen the horrific footage of the bones of holocaust victims piled on top of each other!

I don't remember that day in Garden City, Long Island except thinking that I had to hide who I was or what??? Did they want me to be dead also?? Why would people and my best friend and her parents belong to this club? I stopped being her friend and she couldn't even figure out why.

Another friend told me she called me a "BITCH". I didn't care. She opened a deep, gaping wound...as a jew...I wasn't as acceptable as other people. This event has affected my entire life.

I was always taught that the Jewish faith had to be carried on because or else the Nazis won. I was afraid of being Jewish...yet all my life i have searched how to be who I am -- not only Jewish...an individual thinker mostly and not to just go along with the group.

It could be depressing to just realize the hatred in this world!!! I was depressed about this in the past. Now...I believe I must do my part to change the little I can to make this a better world, for all people...all human beings. I have learned to recognize who and what to stay away from...and my own limitations more. Givers have limits and those who need to take sometimes don't stop taking. The sad truth is that there are people who cross over a line of being a "good human" to enjoying inflicting pain on others knowingly..this in my estimation is - e v i l. Did you ever learn that evil is l i v e spelled backwards. It is the opposite of life. I won't go into depth what I think about why people cross over. Mostly experiencers of abuse though, I think....

So be careful. Choose people wisely and keep boundaries... The holocaust happened. It is up to all human beings to learn from the past. I admire those with courage who stand up when it is more comfortable to just sit there.

I've heard that the way to allow evil to exist is to merely stay silent.

2 comments:

Christina Bruni said...

Nancy,

I'm glad you stopped being friends with the girl.

When I first started working at the library (in an Orthodox neighborhood), one of the patrons asked me, "So, you're Jewish?" and when I said, "No," he responded, "So, you're Italian."

"Yes," I told him.

To this day I remember his last comment: "Well, you don't hate us but you don't like us, either."

I had never met this guy before in my life! And he was blaming me for the holocaust. Which is weird, because plenty of Italian people ARE Jewish.

I do wish racism didn't exist.

This wasn't the only incident where someone, a total stranger, accused me of being racist.

So sad, Nancy, so sad.

nancy said...

Chris,

I agree racism is a sad reality.

That orthodox guy had no right to judge you. He was expressing his own insecurity i think and yet look at the harm he did!

My experience being raised as a Conservative Jew is much different...my best friends were always Italian Catholics and I admired them and their beautiful churches. However, I thought I was less and longed for the beautiful stained glass windows, statues and rituals which in my Temple seem so dull in comparison.

Christmas vs. Hannukah?...

Mom agreed to only stockings...so I thought Santa liked Christians more than Jews.