Keep Telling the Story of Jewish Suffering

A friend recently sent me a link to the Auschwitz Album, a rare set of photographs discovered by accident and donated to Yad Vashem.

At age 13 I stood in front of my grade 8 class, knees knocking nervously, mouth dry, to speak publicly for the first time. My subject? The Diary of Anne Frank. I’d stayed awake late into the night, captivated by the writings of a teenager’s diary. For the first time I became aware of the holocaust’s magnitude and the affect it had on an ordinary girl’s life, so aware I confronted shyness and stepped in front of my classmates to tell her story.

Anne stimulated my appetite for many books and movies on Jewish suffering. Almost two decades later, I discovered Corrie ten Boom and read about her concentration camp experiences. Corrie suffered not because she was Jewish but because she created a Hiding Place for Jews in danger. By a miracle Corrie was released a short while before all women in their fifties were gassed. She returned to Holland minus her father, her sister Betsy, her brother and a nephew. All died in camps.

Anne wasn’t released. Opportunities to travel the world and share her story, as Corrie did well into her eighties, never came. But, through her simple diary, she touched millions.

Anne, an ordinary teenager. Corrie, a humble spinster watchmaker. People powerless except for the power of their pens and their stories. The woman who discovered the Auschwitz Album is akin to them. She used a few pictures found in the pocket of a prison guard’s coat to let the world see the faces of people who died because hatred is irrational and violent.

My heart was moved by the faces of Jewish suffering, much like it was when I was 13. Some say we’ve had enough reminders of the holocaust. A glimpse of middle-east turmoil makes the possibility of another extermination seem possible. For that reason, the world needs more reminders, especially as we move into generations beyond the sufferers.

To view this album visit The Auschwitz Album.

About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at:
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8 Responses to Keep Telling the Story of Jewish Suffering

  1. This is a pet topic of mine too…God bless you for reminding us again…Brenda J Wood

  2. Joan says:

    Yes, thank you for sharing this, Rose.

  3. Miriam says:

    The album is staggering to see. It almost seems unreal. How can that have happened.
    Thank you for sharing it with everyone.

    • My writer friend Nikki Rosen, a Messianic Jew, says that to be a Jew means to suffer. When we consider the amount of suffering endured by Jews in the past, and even today, it is truly staggering.

  4. Margaret says:

    Thanks for sharing this – the little girls with the furry ktten hats, heartbreaking….

    • Yes, the children . . . when we consider they were living ordinary lives with no thought of what lie ahead of them . . . how the heart of God grieves for suffering children

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