11 November 2022

Published November 9, 2022 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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As we open this Wednesday, November 9, it is 86 year to the day since the violent Kristallnacht. This week I honor the often forgotten victims of the Holocaust.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100

AMIDST THE SHADOWS

My parents met in a displaced persons camp after the liberation. Each of them had lost both a spouse and a daughter. Finding solace in each other’s arms, I think they married more for convenience than love.

Born in 1949, they named me Sarah-Elisheva after their slain children.

One morning when I was ten, I made breakfast.

“What’s wrong with you?” Dad grimaced. “My Elisheva never burned the toast.”

“I’m not Elisheva. I’m not Sarah! I’m me!

He flew into a rage and slapped me. Mom screamed.

Obscured by my sisters’ memories, Auschwitz will forever be tattooed into my soul.

74 comments on “11 November 2022

  • Dear Rochelle,

    This was deeply sad but beautifully written. Recently, I have watched two movies about the Holocaust and your story brings to life the pain and suffering of the victims. Many physically survived the horrors but the emotional suffering remained with them.

    Thanks for honoring the victims.

    Shalom,
    Adele

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Adele,

      I recently watched “The Invisibles” a very touching docudrama from Germany. Sadly with trauma of this magnitude, the repercussions reach far into the next generations. Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    What a horrible circumstance of birth. They never saw her as herself, only as a replacement. So very sad and beautifully written. I have to agree with Neil. This is top shelf writing!

    Shalom and lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • PTSD is not just an issue for the warriors, but for survivors as well. Your story illustrates the spillover of survivors. It’s sad but, a reality for many. I’m sure, or hoping dad realizes his mistake later and apologizes. May we never forget the horrors of wartime atrocities and work to eliminate them from our culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      I’m pretty sure, in retrospect, my dad suffered from PTSD from WWII. Of course that wasn’t a thing back then. But PTSD isn’t just for war vets, is it? Any trauma can trigger it. Thanks for your support and comments, m’luv.

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Your story shocks us, as it should. It is a sad reality for so many burdened by intergenerational trauma. How to escape it? Somehow I hope Sarah-Elisheva finds the strength to be the one that doesn’t pass it on, for herself and her future family. Great writing, my friend.

    Shalom,
    Dora

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, Rochelle,

    There are so many variables twinkling like sad diamonds in your story. The times and culture, the world as it was then, and, of course, the Holocaust’s nightmare remembered by survivors. Well done and a great pick for a pic. 🙂

    Peace,

    Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      I just watched an old Playhouse 90 entitled “In the Presence of Mine Enemies” made in 1960 about Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Chilling in the time frame, aired only 15 years after the Holocaust. Written by Rod Serling. (Full episode on YouTube).
      I hope we’re not heading for another. Thank you so much for your comments and support.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Plaridel,

      It is an Ashkenazi Jewish tradition to name a child after a loved one who has passed. While it might be perceived as an honor, it was one that came with unrealistic expectations for Sarah-Elishevah. Definitely a recipe for dysfuntion.
      Note: I was named after my mother’s stepmother. Fortunately I wasn’t expected to be Grandma Rose, who according to Mom was a saint who could do no wrong. 😉
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • A sad story indeed. In reality the knowledge of PTSD was not known in those days and appropriate counselling not available. Though in later years the framers of the original PTSD diagnosis had in mind events such as war, torture, rape, the Nazi Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, natural disasters and human-made disasters. From your other comments I am glad you took the time to find and see the docu-drama “Invisibles”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      Thank you for the tip about “Invisibles.” So well done and worth taking the time to read the subtitles. “The Pianist” if you haven’t seen it is a brilliant dramatization of a true story of one man’s survival in the Warsaw Ghetto. I highly recomment it if you haven’t seen it.
      I’m glad PTSD is known and treated today. I’m pretty sure, in retrospect, my poor father suffered from it from WWII. He passed the rage along to his offspring. So I’m grateful for knowledgable therabpists. 😉
      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Beautifully heartrending rendition of a reality all too many of those around me and some I’d grown up with had lived. This is why we know now that historical trauma lingers in the second and third and fourth generation, and why it is so paramount we learn to help those who suffered, yes, but alongside it and even more so, prevent future suffering that creates even more generations of sorrow that can never be undone.
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      The tattooed arms were a fact of life during my childhood. Not to mention some of the children of those survivors who carried their parents’ bitterness. Such a sad thing.
      Thank you for your affirming comments which are always so appreciated.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the tattooed arms were a fact of life for us, too, growing up. And the many post-traumatic behaviors and realities (that were not call that, then …) of the survivors and then in their offspring. My cousin, who is a world renowned researcher in the post-trauma field, did some research about it and about the impact on stress-system and stress hormones in 2nd and 3rd generation holocaust survivors. So, yeah, it is not ‘only in people’s heads’. … xoxo Na’ama

        Liked by 1 person

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