"Sixty-two people out of my family were killed."
The French family hid 12-year-old Charlotte Adelman in their cellar for nine months.
It had a 1950s theme.
When I was a young child I remember watching my dad as his headaches would start. His eyes would begin to glaze over. In those moments, my dad would regress to a terrified six-year-old boy, speaking in whispered tones in his native Yiddish, begging his sister to be quiet as they hid from the Nazis in a Belgian church.
"This violin saw all the atrocities," says Amnon Weinstein, pointing to a fiddle in his Tel Aviv workshop. The Star of David
Scholars, lawyers, and governments will no doubt weigh in on whether or not the residential schools experience in Canada officially constitutes a cultural form of genocide. In the meantime, it is important to create a cultural and intellectual climate in this country that is flexible and sensitive enough to recognize the depth of suffering experienced by traumatized people and their children without ranking it on a destructive hierarchical scale.
As a son of a Holocaust survivor, I have always felt an awkward responsibility to be the bearer of my father's memory. Awkward because I understood how difficult it was to put his tragedy into words. In a short unthinkable time the survivors among us will be gone.
Award season is upon us and with it the often-heard complaints: awards are silly or they don't mean anything. Those declarations are a tad presumptuous, aren't they? After all, what is an award? A prize or other mark of recognition given in honour of an achievement.
January 17 was Raoul Wallenberg Commemorative Day. He was a Swedish diplomat who saved some 100,000 Jews in six months in 1944 Hungary, more than any single government or organization, who demonstrated that one person with the courage to care, and the commitment to act can confront evil and transform history.