Friday 56, September 16, 2022

Welcome to Friday 56! Hosted by Freda’s Voice, you turn to page 56 or 56% in any book or reading device and pick a sentence that grabs you.

GROWING UP, we talk about it at home. The Shoah (Holocaust) entered my life through a second-grade teacher in Jewish day school who began telling us the horrific memories she couldn’t forget. When I shared these memories with my parents, they acknowledged that yes, they had happened, but didn’t elaborate. At nine, I read Anne Frank’s diary, and then a raft of movies and books on the subject seemed to be everywhere. As a Jewish child, I became completely immersed in them.

As an adult, there came a point where I stopped reading these books and seeing movies or plays. I could see them without reading them, feel them without knowing them. What concerns me more these days is not so much the Holocaust–terrible though it was–but the way we live now, and where the it left us.

For me, this leads to my older sister.

As a child, she experienced anti-Semitic taunts and cruelty from other kids in her neighborhood where she and my parents lived until she was five. The children tied my sister to a tree, calling her a dirty Jew and forcing her to eat dirt and rocks. She was not even four when this happened and can’t tell the story now without crying. Listening, I want to cry too.”

Crooked Lines by Jenna Zark

The above quote is taken from page 57 of Crooked Lines. Reading this I wanted to cry too. I added more than a paragraph here because this scene really affected me. Kids can be cruel, but you know they were getting this stuff from their garbage parents. Children aren’t born racist or bigoted — it is a learned behavior. And you know this little girl isn’t the only child to have suffered such bullying.

How this type of stuff is still happening in the US is disgusting. Didn’t our grandfathers fight and DIE to STOP Nazis? Why do we allow Neo Nazis to exist? Why do we allow racism and bigotry to thrive? In Austria, where I live now, it is LITERALLY AGAINST THE LAW TO BE ANTI-SEMITIC. In Austria, where Hitler is from, Holocaust deniers go to jail for TEN YEARS. Just uttering an anti-Semitic statement can land a person in jail for 1 to 10 years.

In America? Where we fought against Nazis? People argue for freedom of speech. It’s just disgusting.

That this happened to a four year old girl breaks my heart.

I am learning so much from this book and am looking forward to reading the rest.

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