Showing posts from January, 2013

Django Chained

When I was seventeen, an old woman was invited to speak to my class about her life as a survivor of the Holocaust. She was sent to Auschwitz when she was a little older than us, she told us; she revealed the tattooed number on her arm. She told us about her escape from the camp - an extraordinary story of determination and outrageous good fortune in evading her captors. What made many people in my class queasy -  I remember a long discussion about it in the playground afterwards - was that this woman told us she had been saved by God; she had prayed to Him over and over as she fled, and He had heard her prayer and rescued her, helped her along as she fled. It seemed astonishing that she might not reflect on the people God chose not to help. She did not explain why her life might be deemed more valuable or worthy of saving than that of 6 million other Jews. Looking back now, I still feel awkward about her testimony, but I understand how this narrative might be comforting, possibly even…