3F Text

In 2016, after many years of objecting, I visited Auschwitz. My logic had been that I did not want to define myself by what happened to my family and that seeing it would bring it all too close. This was of course mistaken as I had in fact always been defined by this knowledge. I found the experience chilling and came away relieved that my grandmother, her daughter-in-law and the three babies who were murdered in the gas chambers spent virtually no time in this dark place. I took the photograph of the tablet (below).

The pages of testimony were made by Fanni’s brother Jacob who survived and went to Palestine. These records, like millions of others, are held at Yad Vashem; the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem.

I remember my grandfather Erich, always the armchair philosopher, quoting Hegel to me in his strong German accent: ‘We learn from history that we do not learn from history.’