They marched them out and made them stand like cattle,
silent in the rain, the men, the women and the children, made to watch the
chosen hanged, then made to dig the graves.
They made them watch the boy, his
feet pummeling the empty space below, so small he strangled on the rope for
half an hour, maybe more.
anger one man asked “Where is God now?”
The star-shaped bits of cloth lay neatly in their rows,
encased in glass and mounted on the wall; yellow Jewish stars, homosexuals pink, gypsies wore brown stars—
I left and paced the
hall, and tried to go back in but the air felt thin and sick—in the library
next door, I nodded to the woman at the desk, grabbed a book and stared at
words I had no comprehension of. I felt ashamed of both my struggle and my
tears, what was this compared to that; the woman at the desk was crying too.
She said, I watched you, I could see you in the hall, trying--and I...I wanted you to know…
A year ago, she'd been assaulted, gang-raped, all
she felt inside for months was rage; friends tried to help and gave advice but nothing
made the anger go away.
She held her hands open out to mine, and said that as
she watched me pacing in the hall, and saw me try again and fail and try again,
something brought the tears that made the anger start to fade.
We stood in silence, holding hands across the desk. I don't know her name and I haven't seen her since.
But that morning in the Holocaust museum, she and I were perfect and alive and we were real.
And now I know why one man answered, “There is God”,
and pointed to the boy.