Sunday, September 1, 2013

The ghost in our home

Erika, 17
I was born in post-war Germany in 1951. We immigrated to the States when I was nine with my post-air force step father. My mother and her brothers and sisters grew up in Hitler's Germany. She never mentioned the war. 
If I asked she would say, "Evelyn, I do not want to talk about it!" 
At the age of 11, I became very curious about the war and began reading books on the subject. That's when I learned about Hitler's grand plan to make the Aryan race the superior, one and only race on the earth and his diabolic program to exterminate all other races, especially the Jewish people. 
I was stunned, horrified and stricken. Even though I was not born during that time, I felt the shame of being a German. How could a people do that to other people?
I believe we all carry darkness inside us. If we choose to nurture that darkness, it becomes a monster that rules and we become less than animals. Hitler nurtured his demons and surrounded himself with other monsters, and so the nightmare of the Holocaust was born, fed and committed. 
What my mother witnessed, I do not know. I do know it was impossible to live in Germany during that time and not know something evil was happening. But as a child and a teenager, what could you do? And as you grow older and your understanding matures, how do you carry that burden with you?  
My mother got pregnant in 1950. She was not married. I thank her daily for not aborting me. Today, being a single mother is an acceptable choice. In 1951, it was not. So much easier for her to eliminate the life inside her, than to bring that life to the light.
It took courage to give birth to me. Maybe it was because of what she had lived through, the waste, the sorrow, the deaths, that made her decide to choose life.
 Me, 4
Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows. Rainer Maria Rilke


  1. I hope you share more if you's passion is there in your words.

  2. I am seriously thinking of writing a memoir. I just sent my mom an email asking for some back ground information.
    Thank you:-)

  3. What a brave woman and a true hero. Thank God she choose you!!!

  4. I am immersed in the subject of what was
    going on with the German people and the leaders. having grieved the atrocities knowing that it could have been me, I can't read more about that. To sad and horrific.
    I do find it satisfying or healing in some way to read about how it happened and why it happened.I have a book list that I have been going through. Some are novels and some are non fiction. I liked Stones From the River a novel.
    Because of the devastation of the war in Germany it was only after the German people coped with survival issues afterwards that they could begin to take responsibility for what they took part in. Actually it was the third generation( your generation) that finally began dealing with it and asking the questions . I am always willing to share book lists, books and talk.
    Your mother was young. She grew up with Hitler, that was all she knew. Perhaps she knew very little. And she was gutsy.