When I was young, my father and I believed in Zion.
Independence parades (his hands stained with berry juice and seeds).
My father was born in Germany. He was raised in Israel.
Do not make the mistake of calling him German.
I have a picture of my family in Israel about five years after Auschwitz. My grandparents’ eyes are vacant. They hold two squirming children. Light reflects off their bodies and captures their hair, their lips, the lines on their faces.
It is said there are two kinds of survivors. There are the ones who talk and talk and talk about what happened. They strive to explain, to squeeze the pain out through words, so that their memories hang dripping over their children’s heads.
And there are the other kind. My family. The ones who never speak.
As a result, I am the one who never stops telling their stories. And memories that do not belong to me are wrung out with dripping words that hang on those who dare to love me.
And this is the story I’ve been telling for over a decade to anyone who would listen. I’ve become obsessive. Who is willing to listen? The pain transferred. It never went away. It manifested itself over generations and has seeped into my life. I find pockets of it everywhere.