Understanding

Understanding came along the way

I did not expect to find even this depth of forgiveness

not knowing till now

how

those lost shards of painful memory

had to be buried

by the victims

who lived on and committing their

emotional truth to silence

were not able to tell the tale

only gave voice

in invisible ways

through silence

or a misconstrued anguish

As a child

we do not know

the twisted painful reality of things

our fore-bearers lived

and so we rebel or protest with a ferocity

perhaps impossible for them to understand

But now, it seems to me

those reactions all make sense

almost as if through giving birth to us

the truth detectors

their cells carrying forgotten memories

can be retrieved

There is a truth that needs to be told

There is a sadness that spreads its invisible cloak

over the hearts of those we loved

the depth of whose soul suffering

we never fully understood

and only the journey of discovery

that leads along that painful path of broken glass *

finally ends

in both understanding

and forgiveness

(This poem is inspired by the book The Writing on the Wall : How one boy, my father, survived the Holocast, written by the Australian journalist Juliet Riede

Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) took place on 9 an 10th of November 1938 and was the first of the violent pogroms against the Jews by the Nazis taking place in Germany and the recently annexed portions of Austria and Czechoslovakia )

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