Good Day St. Anne’s Family and Friends,
I wanted to take a moment to share thoughts from a powerfully moving experience. I recently had the honor of hearing from Anne Jaffe, as she shared her story as a holocaust survivor. From the beginning, this story was different from others I had heard, as Anne, her parents, and infant brother survived this terrible ordeal. It was a story of life on the run, living in the woods and relying on the kindness of others to give them scraps of food, risking their own lives to do so. She spoke of the terrible existence as a child, and her voice shook as she spoke of the people in her community who volunteered to do the dirty work of the Nazis. She asked the question, “What makes people turn on those with whom they’ve lived? Where does such hatred come from?” She then replied, “Hatred must be taught, and kindness is also a learned behavior.”
I am appreciative of Anne Jaffe’s strength in sharing her story. It is through the stories that we can work to make sure events like this don’t occur in the future. I wonder, what were the early signs that people chose to ignore? Why were people unwilling to stand up and speak out? Anne Jaffe is the same age as my father, who grew up in the Jim Crow South, and while the experiences were not the same, the hatred of some and the silence of others in the community were necessary for these events to occur as well. My father still does not share many details of his story and this part of his childhood. However, my father and I, like Anne Jaffe, believe that we must teach kindness, love, and appreciation of each other.
Pictured below are my father with his mother and sister in Melbourne, FL.
“In the end. we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of their friends.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.