Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Article ID: 15478
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 174
Times Read: 1,605
RSS Views: 10,401
Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: September 15th. 2013
Times Viewed: 1,605
One day, they were captured…
They were taken to a shed and the survivor remembered there being more and more people coming into the shed. The shed smelled bad. One day, all of the people in the shed left and walked into a field. She remembered being tied to her mother's back while everyone began to dig a hole. A fog came up while they were digging and her mother dropped her shovel and managed to crawl away into the woods unseen. A few minutes later, gunshots rang out. The people who had been digging their own graves had been slaughtered.
After going back into hiding, her mother found their cousins. The cousins obtained forged papers for them and smuggled them into another town. Stating they were the family of a Soviet soldier, they lived in a village pretending to be Protestants until the end of the war. When they returned to their village, they discovered the textile mill had been taken apart and their home stripped of all belongings. They were able to recover a family photo album and a shirt her mother had made because one person – only one person in the entire village – tried save their belongings from thieves.
The rest of the village was very hostile to the family, blaming Jewish people for the German invasion, so they left the village and walked. They trekked across several countries with a friend who would eventually marry her mother, bribing border guards along the way. They made it to a Red Cross Displaced Persons camp. The Red Cross was able to locate cousins who had moved to Canada prior to the war. It took over a year for them to be able to come to Canada, with only a suitcase apiece of their possessions. Before leaving Europe, the survivor and her mother went to a cemetery where her mother buried a piece of soap. The soap had been made in a Concentration Death Camp from the fat and ashes of people who had been burned in the crematoriums.
They came to Canada, started new lives and freely practiced their religion. The Holocaust Survivors who came to Canada and lived in Calgary banded together, supported each other as they adjusted to their new lives, and attempted to move forwards from the horrors of their pasts. Years later, as Holocaust survivors began to pass away, the survivor who came to talk to us felt it was important to come forward and share her story. When asked if she and her mother ever returned to Europe, the survivor said no, “all that land is a cemetery to us”.
The presentation closed with a question and answer session. The Holocaust Educator who had brought the survivor gave a small closing speech. She said "they were the witnesses, and now we have shared their stories with you so that you, too, are witnesses. And so that you will know what can happen, and help keeping it from ever happening again".
Her story took about an hour to tell. She maintained throughout a very calm and dignified manner. Her story captivated the kids and even some of my worse misbehavers were silent. Anybody who did try to talk during the story was told by other kids to stop talking (a miracle in my books) . My husband and I spent some time talking to the survivor afterwards, commenting on how well our kids listened to her. My husband remarked on the struggles we have had to make them listen to us. He commented that perhaps the problem was ‘too much freedom’… She replied, “Never, never, never. There can never be a thing as too much freedom. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful thing as our freedom. I am grateful even today for Canada.”
Sadly, her story is not unique across human history. For thousands of years, we have been this cruel to each other. Countless atrocities have marred our heritage. The Armenian Massacres, The Killing Fields in Cambodia, The Genocide in Rwanda, are all tragedies of the highest order. We know the most about the Holocaust because the Germans had documented everything well with photographs, videos, official documents and the still standing concentration camps. There are also records of the trials at Nuremburg, where thousands of witnesses provided testimony of the atrocities. And finally, there are the survivors… those who were dehumanized and beaten, those who had to struggle every day to live when those around them were intent on destroying them.
These survivors, of all genocides and atrocities of our species, have a strength that is beyond our capacity to measure. They see the depths to which we, as a species, can sink. They see things that cannot be described accurately in words, experience horrors that we, sitting comfortably at home, cannot understand. They have found a way to live through it, and begin again. Those survivors have a level of courage that I am not sure I myself would be able to attain on the best of days.
These survivors not only find the courage to survive, they find the strength to recall these events and recount them to us. They have taken upon themselves not only the burden of their past, but also the burden of being our memory. They remember that which we do not wish to remember, but should never forget. They push past the pain of their memories to remind us of what we must never become.
As a Pagan, I honour them and their courage, and call upon us as a community to share the burden of memory. I call upon us to ensure that while we may have different opinions and religions than those around us, we always remember to grant them their freedom. I call upon all Pagans, regardless of path, to stand up against tyranny and oppression and honour the memory of those who were once persecuted. We should stand against persecutions and resist prejudice wherever we may find them. I also call upon us to each day thank the Gods for our freedoms and never to take them for granted.
The Redneck Pagan
The Redneck Pagan
Location: Lacombe County, Alberta
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