Buried Treasure (04 March 2006 - 11:03 a.m.)
Look what Rebecca and her boyfriend found in our cellar:
The first one is a badge that was worn on the cap of Landwacht officers. The Landwacht served as an auxiliary police force in the Netherlands, under the authority of the NSB (the principal Nazi party in Holland). Thereís a better shot of the badge on this website, seventh photograph down.
The second is a Luftwaffe national insignia. Hereís what it looks like on an officerís cap.
When I first saw the WWII relics, I was creeped out. But, then I realized that, instead of being a Nazi enthusiast, which was my initial suspicion, it is more likely that a former owner of this house brought these back as souvenirs from his service in the war. Now they are mine. Itís like holding a piece of history in my hands.
These mementos are particularly fascinating to me because of my interest in Judaism. It began with Fiddler on the Roof, a movie that is one of my all-time favorites. I first saw the film as a teenager, and it had a profound effect on me. Over the years, everything Iíve seen or read about Judaism or the Holocaust has made a lasting impression. The first Bar/Bat Mitzvah I ever attended moved me deeply. I cried through the entire ceremony.
In my thirties, while working in the high school library, I picked up a book called My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. I was enthralled, and have since read (and loved) all of his works. Once, I had a dream in which people were talking to each other in Hebrew. In my dream, I couldnít speak the language, but I was able to understand it.
When I was around fifteen years old, I woke up one night to the sound of my much younger brother screaming, ďMa! Ma!Ē Still half asleep, I ran into his room saying, ďWhat? What?Ē I saw that our mother was standing there staring at me, but I didnít pay much attention to the look on her face, and went back to bed. She later told me about a vision she had at that time, but I donít want you to think Iím even crazier than Iíve already led you to believe, so Iíll skip the details. Suffice it to say that it was chilling, and related to the Holocaust.
My motherís father, by the way, was Polish. His children were raised Catholic, but Iíve always wondered if thereís more to this than meets the eyeÖ Oh well, I guess I'll never know.
Song of the Day: Zog Nit Keyn Mol (Never Say) Anthem of the Jewish partisans, written by Hirsh Glik in the Vilna ghetto. Glik was shot by the Nazis at the age of 24 after escaping from a forced labor camp.
Zog nit keynmol az du
Ven himlen blayene farshteln bloye
Vayl kumen vet noch undzer
Es vet a poyk tun undzer trot - mir
Never say that this is the end of the road.
Wherever a drop of our blood fell, there our courage will grow anew.
This song, written in blood, was sung by a people fighting
for life and freedom.
Our triumph will come and our resounding footsteps will
proclaim "We are here!
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