28 January 2023

Published January 25, 2023 by rochellewisoff
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Undersea St. Thomas 4 Meme

The following photo is the PROMPT. Keep in mind that all photos are the property of the contributor, therefore copyrighted and require express permission to use for purposes other than Friday Fictioneers. Giving credit to whom credit is due is proper etiquette. 

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


As my life has taken some spins and dives of late, my muse didn’t seem to want to come up with anything new. This week, January 27, 2023, marks the 78th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. I feel it’s more important than ever to post a reminder with antisemitism and racist hatred on the rise. How can intelligent people become animals and beasts? The following is a snippet of an interview I had the honor of doing with survivor Sonia Warshawski, fondly known as “Big Sonia” seven years ago.

Genre: Interview
Word Count:100


            “For I’m gon’ tell you,” says Sonia, a colorful and imposing presence at 4 feet 8 inches tall. “It happened so slowly. Not all at once.

            “The soldiers line up rabbis in the street and made us watch them rip out their beards by the roots. Then they shot them.

            “I’ll never forget. In front of me they slaughter babies. I’ll never forgive.  

            “Silence kills.” Her intense brown eyes dig trenches in my heart. “I tell you what is not in history books. As long as God gives me power, I will speak for them.”

This interviewer will never forget. 

74 comments on “28 January 2023

  • It is shocking that humans can do such horrific things to other humans. Thanks for the reminder – I wish we didn’t need such reminders, but looking at the world around us, we do 😦 It must have been amazing to interview her, even if the stories she had to tell were so awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      It was an unforgettable interview. Not that I think I was anything special as the interviewer. She was witty, giving and determined to tell the truth to anyone who’d listen. I only got the job because a friend who was supposed to do the interview couldn’t make it. I win. 😀
      It is horrible what people are capable of. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Brings tears…always does. When I first read Anne Frank’s Diary back in grade school… I questioned what was it that made man so evil inside. From that point on, I studied every piece of writing I could find on the Halocaust, interviewed many survivors, worked as a home health caregiver to many as well. It was a question that has no answer, yet many…. most of the time it begins with simple ignorance. Ignorance to misunderstandings… and of course the presence of the Evil One in the world. Persons whose minds are easily swayed will believe anything they are told… they’ve lost the ability to think for themselves – a sad reality seen all too often. And I think so dearly of my friend, Miss Sarah, who survived Mengele’s evil… her twin survived the war by days, but succumbed to infections. For them, I will not be silent.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh my God, I am so sorry. I am so sorry. I looked at the photo and I didn’t even think about it. Not about that. My wife and children are Jewish. I hate and detest anti-Semitism and all the Nazis stood for. And yet when I wrote my story, I still celebrated life over death.


    • Dear James,

      No need for apologies. I don’t expect anyone to follow my “lead” in subject matter. It’s up to each individual to write what the photo inspires them to write. And Life should be celebrated. Thank you.




  • Of course we will never forget. I watched a programme this week about how the holocaust began, and how the local people were complicit in the systematic extermination of their neighbours. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to grow up Jewish, knowing that horror is embedded in ones history. Or to grow up in Germany, where the collective guilt still lurks.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Honestly, I sometimes think the humans are the virus and we should let the ‘germs’ go ahead and do away with us. So many terrible things happen and have happened because people didn’t like the way another group looked, lived or believed.
    The history books are horrific in themselves, but to know that time and time again they were the sanitised version just makes me sick.
    I hope the spins and dives are coming to an end and you have some highs on the horizon.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jen,

      I agree. Humans can be the most dispicable form of monster. Frankenstein’s monster was nothing by comparision.
      As for the spins and dives…some have brought disappointment such as a pulled oblique muscle that’s keeping me from swimming. The other thing is a good, but time consuming. My novel came back from the publisher with many suggestions from the editor. It is an emotional endeavor, suggesting I slaughter a few darlings. Most I do willingly because I agree.
      So there are highs along the way. Thank you.




  • “Never Again.” I think history is forgotten the instance prejudice appears. I have witnessed Bosnia and Kosovo at first hand–although not on the same scale as the Holocaust–but for the individuals caught up in the trauma it was awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear James,

      Atrocities and Genocide are horrible on any scale. We remember the Holocaust for the systematic slaughter coupled with the Nazi’s perfect record keeping. We say never again as it happens all around us. Thank you for your comments.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for the reminder, Rochelle.

    Hate-based genocide. War. Battle. Killing. Torture. Things humans seem to have been good at (and often enjoyed) from the beginning. Been trying to read through “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45” by Milton Sanford Mayer. Enlightening but the denials and delusions can be frustrating.

    I hope your life levels off and that your muse better serves you soon.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      My muse is so busy rewriting my novel, it’s hard for her to lend any spare head space to even 100 extra words. 😉
      On top of all the fun things, I pulled an oblique muscle two weeks ago and have stayed away from swimming to avoid further injury. It was quite painful at first. It’s still a nagging pain and I’m chomping at the bit to get back in the water.

      I think the biggest horror of the Nazi holocaust is how calculated and systematic it was. Not to mention the Nazis were proficient documenters. So it boggles my mind that anyone could be ignorant enough to deny it happened.

      When the opprotunity arises I will remind. 😉 Thank you for your continued participation and support.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Recover swiftly, Rochelle.

        I have mentioned that since I’m relatively new to FF, it’s always new to me. It is other writing and art that I put off.
        My exercise routine is alternate days of walking and swimming. Fortunately, swimming has be less damaging than walking.
        In my opinion, Holocaust denial is neither rational nor irrational. It is just more hate.
        I hope your wet again soon.



        Liked by 1 person

  • i felt an overwhelming sadness when i visited the auschwitz and birkenau concentration camps in 2009 and the mauthausen concentration camp in austria in 2014. i just couldn’t believe part of the human race was capable of such atrocities. never again, but it seems like a hopeless pursuit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Plaridel,

      I can’t imagine what it’s like to actually stand in those places. I know how I felt at Yad V’Shem in Israel, listening to the names of murdered children recited in a hall of mirrors. Will we ever learn?



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear “Bird-Woman-of-Belton” WTF,

    Thank you for being an advocate for those who can no longer give first-hand accounts of those horrors. And your posts which honor those who did what they could to save lives.
    Perhaps if the Chiefs attend Boot Camp, they’ll survice the Bengals.

    Hardly MIlldew
    Host of “Lifestyles of The Old & Decrepit”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I’m hoping the spins will stop and I can once more dive in to the pool. Pulled oblique muscle is keeping me dry but not so high. Meanwhile, novel edits are taking up any head space I have left for FF.
      Indeed these pillars must be treasured. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you for the reminder of the horrors so we never forget. It’s important as we struggle to not repeat the past. But, when will we learn? Heavy sigh. I do love that quote and have used it many times. Hoping life levels out for you soon. Have a nice weekend, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I just saw the PBS video about “Big Sonia” and recognized she lives in your town. Sure enough.
    Such strength, such endurance. Such terrible atrocities she has witnessed and survived. Thank god she has the courage to speak out and try to get people, as she says, to take the hate from their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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