HMD 2018

Yesterday I slouched into town for the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service, which is rather unfortunately held in an exposed park near the train-tracks, meaning that speakers are often drowned-out/interrupted by the sound of passing locomotives. Symbolic, or just annoying… who can say? This year we also had a car-washer stood in a car-park overlooking us, waiting patiently to resume his work, which was a little disconcerting… especially when we were all asked to sing the Jewish blessing “Shalom Aleichem” (meaning “peace be upon you”) for several rounds, despite the fact that we, a random group of non-Hebrew-speaking strangers, couldn’t seem to agree on a tempo, tune, or consistent pronunciation. Sigh…

Annelies Marie Frank (1929 – 1945)On the plus-side, this year’s theme was “The Power of Words”, which prompted several readings from Anne Frank’s books, including these timeless observations from her think-piece “Give” (one of several essays collected in Tales from the Secret Annex):

“Everyone is born the same, everyone has to die, and nothing remains of their worldly glory. Riches, power, and fame last only for a few years! Why do people cling so desperately to these transitory things? Why can’t people who have more than they need for themselves give that surplus to their fellow citizens? Why should some people have such a hard time during their few years on this earth?” “There is plenty of room for everyone in the world, enough money, riches, and beauty for all to share! God has made enough for everyone! Let us all begin then by sharing it fairly.”

On the way home, I happened to spot a brand new DVD of Fiddler on the Roof (1971) for sale in a charity shop, and bought that to watch in the evening. It isn’t actually about the Holocaust, of course, but does depict an impoverished Jewish community being oppressed and uprooted by Anti-Semitic authorities, so there’s a resonance there, right? Either way, it’s a very funny and moving musical, with a great cast and classic songs, so I highly recommend it… though my enjoyment was slightly impaired by the fact that I have Yidcore’s punky cover version of the soundtrack embedded in my brain, from repeated plays…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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