The last trip we took together was back to Auschwitz.
Little did I know that the pandemic would hit just a few months later, and that I would lose my grandfather this past summer.
What I did know was that this day would eventually come, a day commemorating the Holocaust – without my Saba, without his presence, only recordings of his voice, only his words to quote. In 2020, we went back to Poland one last time to bear witness, to speak of the unspeakable, to sing in spite of those who tried to silence.
And he did sing. David Wisnia sang in full voice at the gates of Hell, pictured here, where the Nazis transported thousands upon thousands to be tortured and die, simply because they were different, simply because people were told that by separating them, hurting them, killing them – all their problems would be solved.
But we know better. Our problems are never solved by hurting others.
On this Yom HaShoah Day of Remembrance, I promise to Never Forget, to continue to tell my grandfather’s story of surviving the Holocaust. I will continue to keep my grandfather’s voice alive. My grandfather said to do good in this world. To make yourself a blessing.
As it is written in Hebrew: “V’Heyeh Brachah”
As human beings we are capable of inflicting great pain upon each, and we are capable of doing incredible good. Kindness. Compassion. Seeking justice. Standing up for what is right. What we ourselves choose to do impacts others, for we are all responsible for one another.
Remember the words of my grandfather. Choose to be a blessing.
I created a new section of my website to record the stories of our travels and performances together, with videos and other music to share. Read and follow our journey back to Poland here: www.mypolishwisnia.com
Join me for two streaming event this week
to help commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day
and honor my grandfather’s story of survival.
Tuesday April 26, Living Links Presentation
Mercer County Community College NJ (register)
Wednesday April 27, My Polish Wisnia Presentation & Service
Sinai Temple, Springfield MA (register)