Those of us who staggered through the valley of death during the Holocaust struggles to extract a message of meaning and renewed purpose for all people, namely: a message of humanity, of human decency and human dignity. It is our deepest hope that the
Magda Fried died in 1985 but not before she had left a touching and inspiring record of her experiences during the darkest days of Nazi rule.
From her notebook:
Many years have gone by and I have cried less than I have this past year. Why have I allowed myself to feel sensitized so I can begin to recall and remembering the scenes of the past that was flooding my brain?
Why should my heart be breaking, and tears washing my face when I read the ad for travel to the beautiful Czechoslovakia?
Why do I wish, I could go for a visit, and see and walk where I was born, where I was a child, where I played, and went to school, I was nurtured, and disciplined. Instructed, and corrected, where I knew many families, and where everyone knew our family many generations back…
It causes me pain knowing, that if I should go for a visit, I would be a total stranger, there is no one from my family left there. Only Graves from previous generations…. and who knows if any remain. The pain would be unbearable, and yet, like the salmon that the returns to its place off origin of the peril of his life, so do I yearn to be able to go home…. and yet what is home? Am I so unique in feeling the need to once more, go home? Some how, it will always be my home whenever I refer to the past.
Why is there no grave that I can go to and cry when I ache?
Mother where are you?
I am beginning to go back and wandering so much.
How did you die?
Did they notice that you were a young mother and only 40 years old with a little girl who was just 10 years old?
A young mother that did everything for her children and family, a young woman that did not have a chance to enjoy that good things life has to offer.
Like my youngest sister Channu as if she never existed, how tragic the only thing I remember about her is that she was born in July or August of 1933.
She had brown eyes and very light brown almost blond hair, and she was pretty and the baby of the family. My heart is breaking when I think, she was a little girl of 10, and had not done any harm to anybody, and her life snuffed out without her knowing why.
Now my tears are rolling down my face. I wonder why have we have been so forgiving? All these years it never occurred to me to carry hatred, or seek revenge…
Additional links to Holocaust inspired stories:
- A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology
- An article from the Lincoln Journal Star about Heartland Holocaust Educational Fund founder Sam Fried
- USC’s Shoah Foundation Institute, which contains nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses in 32 languages and from 56 countries
- Visit the Holocaust History Project for a comprehensive free archive of documents, photographs, recordings, and essays regarding the Holocaust