The Way It Looked in 1982

by Mark Chmiel

In my childhood I have suffered fear, hunger and humiliation when I passed from the Warsaw Ghetto, through labor camps, to Buchenwald.  Today, as a citizen of Israel, I cannot accept the systematic destruction of cities, towns, and refugee camps. I cannot accept the technocratic cruelty of the bombing, destroying and killing of  human beings.  I hear too many familiar sounds today, sounds which are being amplified by the war.  I hear ‘dirty Arabs’ and I remember ‘dirty Jews.’  I hear about ‘closed areas’ and I remember ghettos and camps.  I hear ‘two-legged beasts’ and I remember ‘Untermenschen.’  I hear about tightening the siege, clearing the area, pounding the city into submission and I remember suffering, destruction, death, blood and murder. . . Too many things in Israel remind me of too many other things from my childhood.

Dr. Shlomo Schmelzman

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