Wednesday, June 04, 2008

There's nothing special, I swear

One of the things I really wrestled with in Europe was over whether or not to take a stone from Birkenau. I wanted it for my Naugpapa’s grave, as he was Jew who survived the Holocaust; I though it would be a nice “fuck you” to the Nazis. Not really sure what it meant, but I guess control over the very soil that housed these atrocities, the simple fact that you were able to leave and take what you wish was empowering I suppose.

So I stood on the rusted tracks at the platform where selection would take place, to my left you were sent directly to the gas chambers, to my right, you live another day. So where the track split I bent down and picked up the stone closest to the division between life and death. I was worried that I would be bringing evil back home with me, and I made several attempts before I could finally do it. I considered leaving it behind as well, first at Birkenau, then in Warsaw, then at the airport. Now it’s sitting in my living room waiting until I can visit my Naugpapa’s burial site.


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