Friday, May 21, 2010

the holocaust museum and greek food.

Well then.
Monday, as I stated before here and here, we went to a holocaust museum. The nearest one, considering we live nowhere near the huge Washington DC one where freaky things have happened and shown up in the news.
We watched the edited version of Dear Frankie on the way there. It was a couple hours.
Let me just skip ahead and say that the rail car was the most shaking, real thing ever...
This picture is before they put it in the building. We were allowed to walk into it, after coming up a steep ramp. 
Not to mention the footage that was shown along the way in secluded, dark, angular-architectured parts of the ongoing hall/walkway.
Here's where you can see some of the artifacts that we passed in glass cases. 
This is the back of it...^ And the view of the front, both enter and exiting doors...the white being exit. You start in darkness and old reality. You exit in life and modern architecture after a shop full of interesting things.
And the doors in the front, where you enter.
You step in, and you're somewhere else entirely. Old-fashioned lighting, open wire-work, pipes, and construction beams. Everything looks World War 2. For a moment you can barely breathe. There are two bare benches to sit and wait on, and a stark plaque hanging on the wall by one.  
At one point in your journey of everything, there's this one screen that is playing a man's narration on different things, and there, in a glass case right there, is a pair of striped-pajama pants, an actual uniform a man wore in a camp. 
The narrator told of a man who was bitter, and that man saw his friend, who was thanking God while the first one was cursing him. What have you to be thankful for? Why are you even talking to God? Because, his friend said, I am thanking Him that He did not make me like them. You can imagine the quote and the pair of pants right there in front of everyone, close up to see, was very sobering, thought-provoking. Or rather, thought-silencing.
So here's some of my pondering/writings.

Monday, May 17 2010, 1:04pm
Done and in the van.
In the white side of the building, in the souvenirs area…
An 82-year-old survivor who wrote in the book we bought signed it.
In Our Voices.
He looked at me, watching.
I met his eyes.
“How old are you?”
My voice, super quiet: 19
“Nineteen. Well, then, you know about the holocaust and all this….”
Mom picks up the book he suggested.
“See here,” he says. “I wrote this. You read this book. You learn how people had to survive.”
I twist the cover of my thermos.
He autographs the book, then Mom goes to buy it.
He looks to me.
Steps closer.
“You read it—people had to do anything by any means to survive…”
I nod. I not and look at him.
He glances in Mom’s direction.
“She’s your sister?”
No, I start.
We both finish w/the correction that she’s your/my mother.
Mom comes closer.
“You know, she looks just like you. Just like you,” he tells Mom.
He smiles at me.
His hand comes up, touches the back of my head in a fatherly ---er, grand-fatherly---gesture.
“A pretty girl.”

And all I can do is smile, look at him with admiration, and listen.
He smiles.
“Read the book.”

The boxcar really got to me.
It smelled old.
All I wanted to do was sit and cry.
It was dark.
There were cracks in the wood, broken places.
People were taken to their deaths in this thing. This…this transportation device.
On the way out to the road, a plane in the sky; flying low but I couldn’t hear it.
While Anna didn’t bother to look (if she had, she'd be shuddering from mi5-induced fears of flying.)
All I knew, while I watched it, was…I want to fly.
And just to make you cry or think if you haven't done one or the other yet, here's this.
Alright. Then, on the way home, we stopped by for some lunch at a Greek place:)
I was unoriginal and ordered a gyro. Mmm, my favorite. We've made spanikopita before, and those sweet-potato fries...
So yes. I fully intended to torture those of you who think this is yummy...I thought of you when I put it together, when I tasted it, and of course when I took pictures.
*sigh* My shoes, so happy to be out of them, and the thermos I bought in the shop there.
Finally home.

So that's all. I have a heck of a kitchen to'night. Or good morning. I'm off to clean the kitchen and sip hot vanilla chai tea! Thank You Jesus for the simple pleasures.
Buon giorno!
(Italian for good morning)
I'll see y'all later:)
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Feelin' The Rain said...

Museum looks like it was amazing! Gyros are my absolute fav too, although it's rather difficult to find them in TN :(( p.s. i uper enjoy your blogs ;))

Chana said...

I've been to the Holocaust museum in DC twice, once in 8th grade and I didn't pay attention to a single thing because I was selfish and dumb and young and flirting with a boy the whole time. I've always regretted that. So Jon and I visited his BFF who lives in DC last April and this time around, it was much more moving. Beyond moving. It is almost impossible to believe how much people suffered during that.
Wonderful post about a very touching experience.
And he was are pretty;)

J.J. said...

what an experience. That rail car must have been so moving. I bet meeting that nice man was memorable. I still remember when we had survivors come and talk to yur Word History class in high school some 20 years ago. We had about 6 visit out class at one time. Thanks for sharing. Next time I go to DC I will have to go to that museum.

Yellow House said...

Fabulous recount of your experience... and... yummy food as always!

The Paper Mama said...

I'd love to see that museum. The rail car is amazing. And yum to the gyro!