Norah

United States

18 | she/they | hypothetical astronaut | ekphrastic poet | haunted house

Message to Readers

This is...a lot, I know. I think it's important to know how all our lives are effected by history, especially the horrors of the world. I visited Eastern Europe with my Facing History and Ourselves class this February. For a while it was the only thing I could write about. I don't quite yet know if the trip will be a defining moment in my life, but I'm willing to bet it will be. You don't go and return unchanged.

But There Aren’t Any Ghosts Here, Just Bodies

June 11, 2019

PROMPT: Micro Memoir

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    Maybe all of it boils down to how I felt at Auschwitz, or Majdanek, or Terezin. I can’t seem to write about anything else. Maybe that’s what matters. Of course I still don’t know how I feel. Is that what it’s like—to be human? It slaps me in the face in the middle of the day. I’ve been to the largest graveyard in the world. And of course I want to throw up because what does that even mean? For all I know the people that shared my grandmother’s last name are buried in an unmarked grave they had to dig themselves. Most of them would have been murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. Is that why I want to go to Ukraine and Hungary and dig up mass graves with the French Priest? Is it some kind of catharsis? I think I have at most the echoes of generational trauma and it comes from my grandmother making offhand comments about how we would have been killed. It comes from holding my breath the entire time we walk through the gas chambers. Is it the history or the echo that matters? Is it the day I visited Auschwitz and walked right out to the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen? Because, guess what, they saw beauty too. And it didn’t matter. Not one bit.

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1 Comment
  • PouringOutTheSun

    This is really very beautiful and I know that might not be the best word to use because obviously this may have hurt you to write because of the content of the topic but you’ve done such a good job with it. Really, this is so well done.


    over 1 year ago