There was no mean to light Meyer’s way — just darkness. No stars to guide him — just blackness. No sounds to warn him of impending danger — just stillness.
It’s been over a week now since I’ve come home from Washington D.C., home to a very different place with this feeling that I have to keep pinching myself because I can’t be sure the last three months truly happened. Continuity becomes important – instilling any continuity as much as possible anyway is a way I’m keeping the pinching at bay.
Until We Meet Again is a book I actually picked up in Washington at the U.S. National Holocaust Memorial Museum, down the street from where I worked. When I was browsing through the bookstore after visiting the exhibits, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of published biographies there are that I have still not read. I hate to say it but Holocaust memoirs were my bread-and-butter of reading material for a long while. Not because they were particularly well written or poetic or artful in its themes and characters. But there is something to be said for reading not to be engaged in that way, but just to think this is someone’s life story.
Michael Korenblit, with help of Kathleen Janger, wrote this story of his parents Manya and Meyer. Manya and Meyer grew up in the same Polish town of Hrubieszow, sadly at the wrong time. They fell in love when the Nazis occupied Poland and began a campaign to empty all the villages of their Jewish population. By miraculous twists of fate, Manya and Meyer survive living in a haystack, the rural firing squads, and the concentration and death camps of Plascow, Birkenau, Buchenwald and Dachau. And even more miraculously, they find each other during the chaos of the war’s aftermath.
I’m not going to comment or judge this story, like the same way I wouldn’t judge any stories my grandparents tell me from their pasts. This story really is what it is. And that may be a cop out, but I think there are some harrowing experiences that transcend the critic.
My reader of this text is actually the man who inspired the entire project. I was reading one day on the couch in the T.V. room while others were watching T.V. Gabri, one of my first friends made in the International Student House, grabbed the book and began to read the first page. I couldn’t help but to instantly start listening – his robust Italian voice commands attention in such an exotic way. I told him afterwards that he will have to read to his children almost every night. He cannot waste a voice like his. I was really happy when he agreed to read for this project. Gabri is quite the perfectionist as well – we recorded a few times before he was content. I couldn’t be happier with it.
Books Read: 11