Essay Bare Witness of the Holocaust

1435 Words6 Pages
Bearing witness

When we encounter a Holocaust survivor, a lot of questions come to our mind. We start to wonder how did they manage to survive. We tend to assume that once the Holocaust was over, survivors began to reestablish their lives and their pain disappeared. However, Holocaust survivors suffered, and even after 70 years after the liberation, Holocaust survivors still experience difficulties on their day-to-day basis. In the years followed the Holocaust they struggled with their painful memories while attempting to renew their lives, most of them in new countries. The Holocaust was one of the greatest massacres against humanity. As time goes by, the Holocaust survivors’ memories start to fade. The obligation to remember is engraved
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“Even in this place one can survive, and therefore one must want to survive, to tell the story, to bear witness; and that to survive we must force ourselves to save at least the skeleton, the scaffolding, the form of civilization. We are slaves, deprived of every right, exposed to every insult, condemned to certain death, but we still possess one power, and we must defend it with all our strength for it is the last – the power to refuse our consent.” – Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz.

Just like Primo Levi, many Holocaust survivors wrote books to keep their memory alive. Ernest W. Michel is a Holocaust survivor that his calligraphy skills saved his life. As he was walking to the gas chamber, an SS officer asked the crowd who knew how to write. Ernest quickly raised his hand and started writing death certificates. Ernest is 89 years now, and his way of bearing witness is by going around the world telling his story. Due to his age, he keeps his memory alive by writing flash cards to remember the struggle he went through. Many Holocaust survivors do things like Michel to keep their memory alive, not just for them, but also for the
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