massacre of a sentiment

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On the outskirts of Vilnius, not at all far from the cafe and discotheques and my apartment and the ghetto’s ghost, is a forest where ~70k jews were shot and tossed (fell?) into pits. I was here twice this week: with a German group of academics and students here for a conference; and for the official, annual ceremony, sponsored/organized by the government, which amounts to the largest (and kinda only) Holocaust commemoration event.

Most striking here is the utter inconspicuousness of the place. It’s a forest, tranquil+calming+green, interrupted by bland (though politically charged — I’ll get to this) plaques and memorials and giant pits. Our guide for visit #1 was Fanya, who told her story — her family was wiped out here; she escaped the Vilna ghetto on the last possible morning — in a calm, even toned Yiddish. More on the commemoration event later. Too absolutely knackered at the present.

Written by menachemkaiser

22 September at 18:28

Posted in rants

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