Friday, April 29, 2022

Memory, Dignity and Justice

 

April 28, 2022 is a Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day

In 2022, the theme guiding the United Nations Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity and Justice”. Holocaust commemoration and education is a global imperative in the third decade of the 21st century. The writing of history and the act of remembering brings dignity and justice to those whom the perpetrators of the Holocaust intended to obliterate. Safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, challenging the distortion of history often expressed in contemporary antisemitism, are critical aspects of claiming justice after atrocity crimes. The theme encompasses these concerns.

 


Author: Erik Elman

In 1939, before WWII, there were 16.6 million Jews worldwide. Today, in 2022, there are still only 15.2 million Jews living on this planet - like in 1922. Sergio Della Pergola calculated, that, if not for Holocaust, the Jewish population of the world would be close to 40 million today.

So, here's your real number - it's not just 6 million. It's their unborn children, and their children's children, mighty and fruitful branches cut off from the trunk before they had a chance to grow, the echo of the slaughter, coming down to us, generation after generation, empty spaces in our collective conscience, erased genes that will never enrich our collective potential, friends we will never have, loves we will never celebrate, voices that will never be heard, ideas that will never be born.

People say, "yes, but Israel". Yes, but nothing. Israel is not "an answer" to Holocaust, American Jewish prosperity is not an answer either. We are still a remnant, all that is left. We have our triumphs, yes. We survive and thrive. But if you stop for a moment and comprehend what was lost, you understand how diminished we are. How wounded. How - beneath all this swagger and confidence - traumatized and broken.

This is what genocide does - it doesn't just destroy those it can reach. It stays with the survivors. It reminds them that they are the unworthy ones who got lucky, stoking their grief and guilt. And once it happens, the terrible marker goes down in history, a finger pointing out to the Jews, saying "IT CAN BE DONE", and what could be done once, can be done again. And everybody around us knows it. And we know that they know.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Mariupol before and after

 Before and after photos of Mariupol show devastation of city when “Russian World” came there to “save the people” from their elected government. Based on the latest estimates of April 11, more than 10,000 civilians have died in the Russian siege of his city, and that the death toll could surpass 20,000, with more detailed investigation, when the city will be liberated.

Not many words. Just pictures – before and after.










Sunday, April 24, 2022

Love in Kyiv

 Written by Natalka Bilotserkivets and translated by Andrew Sorokowsky

 


More terrible is love in Kyiv than

Magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies

Fly light and maculate into bright tapers –

Dead caterpillars’ brilliant wings aflame!

And spring has lit the chestnuts’ candles!

Cheap lipstick’s tender taste,

The daring innocence of miniskirts,

And these coiffures, that are not cut quite right –

Yet image, memory, and signs still move us…

Tragically obvious, like the latest hit.

You’ll die here by a scoundrel’s knife,

Your blood will spread like rust inside a brand

New Audi in an alley in Tatarka.

You’ll plunge here from a balcony, the sky,

Down headlong to your dirty little Paris

Dressed in a blouse of secretarial white.

You can’t discern the weddings from the deaths…

For love in Kyiv is more terrible than

Ideas of New Communism: specters

Emerge in the intoxicated nights

Out of Bald Mountain, bearing in their hands

Red flags and pots of red geraniums.

You’ll die here by a scoundrel’s knife,

You’ll plunge here from a balcony, the sky, in

A brand-new Audi from an alley in Tatarka

Down headlong to your dirty little Paris

Your blood will spread like rust

upon a blouse of secretarial white.


Natalka Bilotserkivets is an acclaimed poet, editor, and translator. Her poems have been anthologized and translated into a dozen of European languages.