History Is Never Remembered Objectively

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History is never remembered objectively. It is not simply a compilation of facts. Instead, history is moulded and altered by the way people choose to retell it from generation to generation and what people choose to remember as ‘truth’.

I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust. My grandmother had narrowly escaped the Nazis, but she never spoke about how, but her parents, two sisters, two brothers, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins were all murdered in Treblinka. In my childhood, I never heard of the horrors that were committed but I knew the word ‘Treblinka’ before I could walk, I knew my mother had witnessed my grandmother suffer nightmares about the war. How she so hated Poland that she wouldn’t even admit she was born there.
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Treblinka was destroyed because it reached its goal. It murdered the number of Jews it had been set, so it no longer held any use to the Nazis”.

Walking into Treblinka there was so much to see, but nothing at all. Treblinka is: peaceful, beautiful, content, quiet. Along the freshly paved path to Treblinka - the trees take their sustenance from the soil- from the ashes within it. After death, life persists. But underneath this freshly paved pathway and memorial are bones, blood, tears, history.

There was an 18-minute life expectancy here. From arrival, to death. 18 minutes. Is that how long my family lasted? More? Less? In Judaism, 18 is a number that represents life. How ironic. In the field of Treblinka was a memorial site of stones, each one representing a town or population of Jews that was murdered. I don’t know what I expected. Burnt down rubbles? Grey skies? A stench of death? Nothing.
In Treblinka, there was absence. And then, when I blocked out the sound of the bird calls and focused on the howling of the wind, it wasn’t peaceful anymore. The absence became the screams of 840,000.

Stone Story 1 (Czestochowa Ghetto):
The SS shove eighty to a hundred people into each wagon, the old, the sick, the pregnant, nursing women and before long hose who had gone mad from the journey. There was barely space to stand, let along sit down however most desperately pushed to be closer toward the wired covered
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