A Holocaust Song

Today is the national remembrance day for the holocaust. The radio plays the same old songs over and over again. Most of them are too old, and they just remind of standing up for hours, rehearsing for the remembrance day ceremonies at school.

I want to offer a different song. The lyrics aren’t related to the holocaust. It’s the music. When I hear this song, I always imagine that I’m hiding in the freezing cold Polish winter under the barracks, trying not be heard by the Nazi patrol that is barking and flashing their torches. The howling wind hides the sound of my teeth.

Nick Cave – Stranger than Kindness.
[audio:http://yohayelam.com/recordings/Stranger-Than-Kindness-Nick-Cave.mp3]

As a descendant of European Jews that immigrated to Israel in the 50s, many of my relatives were murdered during the Jew’s (and others’) holocaust of WW2. For me it’s something that is mostly in the history books. For my grandmother, and the whole generation, WW2 is still something that they keep talking about. Many conversations feature “I was in that war”.

I’ve visited Auschwitz about 2 and a half years ago, during a trip with my family. That day was a bright warm sunny day. Green fields, birds and empty barracks. That was weird. The might of the evil that happened there in the 40s contrasted the pleasant present. Despite the nice weather, it was quite a hard experience.

Auschwitz, Poland

Today, there are terrible things happening around us. No, not as horrifying and systematic as the Nazi extermination machine, but do we realyy care or do something about the major massacres in Darfur or the concentration camps in North Korea? Never again?