My apologies, Readers, for not writing as often recently. As I mentioned previously, my husband is having surgery in Bogen, Germany (four disc replacements in his neck). On January 18th we were offered February 15th as the surgery date, and expected at the hospital here on the 9th. We had five days to accept, and four days after that to pay in full! As you can imagine it’s been a whirlwind of preparation to travel internationally, with the added excitement [stress of pre-surgery testing/imagery.
Bogen is 140km from Dachau Concentration Camp.
Dachau reminds me in a huge way that I am Jewish. I am a Jew ethnically, but not religiously or even culturally. I don’t think about the fact that I am Jewish very much; it’s just an underlying fact. I am reminded of it when I hear about antisemitism (even locally with antisemitic graffiti at Stanford University). I often think about being a woman in a culture that doesn’t value (or pay) women on par with men. And I’m speaking from a first-world view. Our culture objectifies women, and works hard to make us think we’re supposed to be in skinny, unhealthy bodies to please men. It's a persistent and successful campaign: most women hate their bodies.
I lived in Austria for a year when I was 20 years old. I came initially as part of the University of Redlands Junior year travel abroad program. Our cohort visited a concentration camp as part of our education. It was the first time it really hit me—I knew in my bones and cells: I’m Jewish! My people were tortured, worked to death, and gassed to death, right here. My family that left Europe prior to World War II survived, and those that didn’t leave all perished.
What will you do today for love, tolerance, and care for those in need?