Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children.
- Deuteronomy 4:9
I am not one that usually quotes the Tanakh, but this particular passage struck a cord with me. It is not an easy thing to discuss painful memories, let alone to approach the subject of such sadness with someone you love. And even as I was compiling material for this blog, I was reluctant to share it with my Buba and Ziedi until I had a good grasp on its ultimate purpose. When I was in Florida visiting last Fall I sat with my Ziedi to show him the blog and explain what I had in mind. I hoped that I had accurately captured and depicted his story in a respectful, straightforward manner. My intention was not to shock readers with horrific, gruesome details, but to shape the life that my Ziedi had before, during, and after the war. He read my blog, nodding throughout and at the end paused, focusing on the computer screen.
'Did you know I had eight brothers and sisters?' he asked me, his eyes glistening.
'I had no idea,' I replied. It's true, it was never mentioned in his 1993 interview recording, nor when I was growing up.
He took a piece of paper and proceeded to write the names of his siblings in the order of their birth. Looking over his shoulder as he wrote, I felt extremely grateful—grateful for the fact that my Ziedi was still alive and healthy, that I would be able to perpetuate his story, and that we had shared this moment together. Without this blog, I know that that piece of my Ziedi's history would have been lost. Now I have the names of all of his family members, information I look forward to sharing with my family's future generations.