10 November 2017

Published November 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

FOR THE DEAD AND THE LIVING, WE MUST BEAR WITNESS *

            I remember it like it was yesterday—November 9, 1963 in Chicago, my father took me downtown to celebrate my 10th birthday.

            His German accent sounded like music. “Vhere shall ve go, schatzi?”

            “The Art Institute.”

            I skipped along the sidewalk, holding his hand. He stopped and went to his knees in front of a synagogue. Slipping off his hat, he covered his face. The sun limned his blond waves.  

            “What’s wrong, Vati?”  

            “Meine Schande. Those magnificent windows—shattered! 25 years ago today. Schweinehund!  Jewish businesses—destroyed! What did I do? Die Nill!  I—I stood by and did nothing.”

*Quote from Elie Wiesel 

 79 years ago this week. 

105 comments on “10 November 2017

    • Dear Sandra,

      I wonder what would’ve happened had the German people stood against the Nazi regime? Alas, the unsung heroes who did suffered the same fate as the persecuted. 😦 Nonetheless…Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Josh,

      What can I say? I didn’t even notice it was Bloomingdale’s. 🙄 Horrible time to remember. I honestly didn’t realize this was the anniversary week when my mind went to the incident. Go figure. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda.

      I’m a baby boomer, too. 😉 As a young Jewish girl who was 10 in 1963, the shadow of the Holocaust loomed over me like an ever present cloud. My dad also fought in WWII…against the Japanese. Fear does paralyze. Thank you.

      Shalom

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was 10 in 1957, didn’t really understand the impact fully until I read and studied more about it in high school. Even then, the mind is just boggled by the evil that held Europe in thrall for so long.

        My dad was also In the South Pacific, submarine in the navy. He was in Tokyo Bay when the treaty was signed. Too far away to see anything, but he was there 🙂

        Like

  • Another powerful story, Rochelle. Although I know the history, watching that video is so heartbreaking. And then there are people who don’t understand why everyone gets so upset when troops of torch bearing (unprintable word) parade through places like Charlottesville chanting hateful slogans…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James,

      I’ve written many Holocaust stories in my five years with Friday Fictioneers. When the muse points that direction, there I go. 😉 When I saw the buildings in the photo, my mind went to Kristallnacht. At that point I didn’t realize that this week is the anniversary. I don’t believe in coincidence. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    How you do this is still beyond me. You take a subject and turn it into a fabulous (no matter how difficult the subject) story that we can all understand and learn from. Beautifully done, my friend. Watching that video was an added bang.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Kristallnacht. That was when the Nazi psychopaths really got going on their murderous rampages. We should never forget what those monsters did, lest we see them take hold like a cancer once again. Even today, we see them trying to spread their hate once more in the US. We need to stop them in their tracks before we see another Kristallnacht.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Such an awful event and a signal of much worse to come. The organised barbarity and thoughtlessness is almost too much to imagine. And you’re right, fear can still us into inaction, though what the poor man could have done against such thugs, who knows. A sad reminder that these kinds of events hurt everyone involved. Sensitively done, Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn

      Unfortunately, those who did dare to take a stand suffered along with the persecuted. In my mind, this man was either a child or adolescent trapped in the Hitler Youth. It was a terrible time and this night marked the beginning of the end for millions. 😦 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • If only all of those caught in that awful night could have seen what was to come, how their own country would turn so thouroughly on them. But then many wouldn’t have been able to afford to leave and when it came down to it, who could have envisaged such a thing was possible before it happened?

        Like

  • I couldn’t stand the sight of those pictures, how could they stand those sights in real life?
    A heartbreaking video.
    Such a wide spectrum of emotions packed into 100 words. so sensitively and beautifully written.Truly awe-inspiring!
    Love and regards,
    Moon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Moon,

      I suspect, at the time, many were sucked into the mob mentality while others were in touch with their vicious side. I found the video heartbreaking, too and that was tame by comparison to some. Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a sad story, I hated to hit the like button, but I did like it. So wonderfully written. So deep, although it was before my birth, it still brings tears to my eyes to think about it. And to remember it so…. I daresay, my own generation will remember 9-11 thus, in time. Some wounds never heal completely. Not sure I can top that tale this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jelli,

      It seems those traumatic memories remain indelibly etched in our memories. Those of us who were old enough, remember the day of Kennedy’s assassination in vivid detail. 9-11 is another of those times…and so on. Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    I hesitated to click the like button because of the atroscity described in you story.
    The pain comes through so clearly … always. The video was difficult to see. A horror of a time for those who experienced it. I can never wrap my head around such a brutal and cold callused time. You write about it brilliantly.
    Abrazos y Shalom,
    Isadora 😎
    p.s. thank you for my new vocabulary word: limned.

    Like

  • Querida Isadora

    The video is a hard to see, although it’s tame compared to some I’ve seen. 😦 I’m glad my story spoke to you. Always happy to expand a friend’s vocabulario. 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  • Unfortunately, history seems to periodically repeat itself. Somebody is always causing pain and suffering to someone, while others are too afraid to do something to stop it. Your story hits hard and is on target.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Once again, Rochelle, you’ve managed to create empathy for your characters in just a few words. How sad that the father feels shame – if he’d intervened he might not have been around to become a father, but if he’d joined in the shame would have been overwhelming. I shudder to think how a child would feel seeing her father feeling so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear JS,

      I have some German friends. Although they weren’t around during the Holocaust, there’s an inherent guilt they carry. So sad. You’re right about the father, there’s nothing he could’ve done. Most likely he was a child himself. Those who dared to intervene suffered the same fate as those they sought to save. Thank you for your generous comment/compliment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Ma Keebler W(T)F,

    Once again you worked your “elfin’ magic” to make an horrific event in history personal to your readers. This is almost as good as your cookies, but with fewer calories. Very satisfying indeed.

    Brad

    Liked by 1 person

  • A few days back I had watched “The Pianist”. Today I read your story and watched the video. The video a real sad account from the past, and then, I watched many others… sad and horrific ones.
    Once again your story gives us an account of the past that was… that would have been…that could have been.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can understand why it is your favourite. Of course the sentiments would be a little different than mine, but I too, fell in love with the character and the story. Very emotional, I fell like crying. A sad time, one that cannot be erased.
        I had watched “Black Book” too, but couldn’t have the subtitles so couldn’t get the end bit.
        You are welcome, Rochelle.
        Happy weekend! 🙂

        Like

  • Aw Rochelle, I am so moved by this story and sad sad tragic truth of not so long ago. I say not so long ago because I try to read and remember these horrific stories. Today is Remembrance Day here…how appropriate to be reading your memory that must never be forgotten. Shalom, Cheryl-Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cheryl-Lynn,

      Of course my stories are mainly fiction but based on oh so many true ones I’ve read. Hard to believe it’s been nearly 80 years since Kristallnacht. Thank you for your kind words and for reading my books.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear TRG,

      George Santaya had it so right, “Those who don’t learned from history are doomed to repeat it.” ( I don’t think I quoted it quite right). I don’t think the man in my story was more than a boy. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a great story from the prompt – as you always say, it’s what the writer sees when they look.
    And such a sad story to still be holding on to the guilt of standing by so many years later. Sometimes people cannot intervene however much they might want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      It’s where my head went the moment I chose the photo, not even consciously realizing it was the anniversary of Kristallnacht. In my mind the father in the story was only a boy.
      At any rate, thank you for reading and leaving such a nice comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Such a sad story. Guilt has caused him so much unhappiness. I feel sorry for him. It’s easy to criticise others or even yourself, but sometimes it’s impossible to speak out and survive. On the other hand, I think he is doing something. He’s remembering and making sure people remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Luccia,

      I have some German friends who do carry this guilt…and they weren’t even born yet. They’re survivors of a different sort. As for my poor character, I don’t think he was more than a boy at the time. Nothing he could have done. But I’m sure he’ll make sure no one ever forgets.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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