Living Memories

armenian genocide

Armenian civilians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Ottoman soldiers. Kharpert, Ottoman Empire, April 1915 – Photo Credit: Anonymous German traveler – Published by the American red cross, it was first published in the United States prior to January 1, 1923.

Samvel and Samuel had a lot more in common than just their names. Sitting together at a table outside a small Parisian cafe, the former sipped his coffee, and the latter put another cube of sugar into his steaming beverage.

“I hear Israel is considering recognition of the Armenian deaths.”

“I certainly hope so. Ours is widely known, but already the world is forgetting.”

“I just wish the world would remember the 20th century’s first genocide. We both died at age five, but here we are as grown men.”

“Yes, you in your holocaust and I in mine. We have been resurrected, whether by God or some lesser but still mighty force, to be living reminders of the past.”

“We must never let the children of this century forget the children of ours, whether executed by the Ottomans or the Nazis. Now finish your coffee. We must join the others.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image and location as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Armenia.

Although the nation has a rich history, it’s hard not to immediately think of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and Armenian Genocide denial. I read one article that said Israel was about to recognize the Armenian Genocide and another stating that Turkey was not at all pleased by this turn of events.

Searching the web for Armenian names and finding “Samvel,” I thought having an Armenian genocide victim and a Jewish Holocaust victim together having coffee was an interesting idea. But who are they who have died so long ago and yet in our midst today? I left that rather vague, but the idea is that some “force” is causing people from the past to emerge in the present so modern people won’t forget the horrors that have occurred so many decades ago.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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A Son of Kristallnacht

kristallnacht

Found at the Yad Vashem website.

Moshe Katz was trudging home late from his clock repair shop. It was so hard to believe this could happen in Dortmund. Just weeks ago, all the Jews who the Germans believed came from Poland were expelled in a single night. His good friend and neighbor Gersz Blass, his wife Else and their three little ones were just…gone. There was talk that the synagogue might be dismantled soon.

Katz thought of himself as a German first and a Jew second, and yet it was as if the pogroms and inquisitions of the past had returned. His Papa tried to warm him before he died. Zeyde used to speak of the horrors of being a Jew in Russia. How…

A hand grabbed him from behind by the collar and pulled him into an alley, almost making him drop his lunch box. The meager receipts from today’s lackluster business were in there, pathetic, but it was all he had to feed his family.

“Please, please, don’t rob me. I’m poor. My family…”

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The Non-Memorial

Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Credit: Getty Images

“I don’t get it, Sheldon. What’s the big deal? It’s just a bunch of blocks.”

“Great place to party, though. It’s like a maze in there, Linda. Get a bunch of people together, bring some weed, and no one can find you.”

“We didn’t come here to party, Sheldon. We’re touring Holocaust Memorials in Europe this summer. But this one in Berlin doesn’t even vaguely mention Shoah.”

“Quit living in the past, Linda. Loosen up.”

The young girl looked down at her shoes, fighting back the tears. “I can’t”. Her Bubbe died just four months ago. Linda could still hear her voice singing her to sleep when she was little. The image of the tattoo on Bubbe’s arm, the one the Nazis gave her when she was a girl, never left her.

Linda looked up and in the distance to their right, she saw a group of young Neo-Nazis laughing.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google maps image as an inspiration to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150. Today’s challenge takes us to the city of Berlin.

This news article at Haaretz explains the controversial history of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, so I won’t include the details here, except to say that we must never forget Shoah and we have a duty to not only remember the past but to make sure we never repeat it.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.