Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Struggle & Survival

I admire those who survive extreme hardship and continue allowing themselves to be positive people. No one greater could touch my heart then those who survived the Holocaust and bless those by telling their stories, even under the pain of recalling such horror. I've written on "Man's Search for Meaning" about a man who lived to tell his life in a concentration camp. "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas," both the book and the movie, strongly portrayed the sad realities of that time. I have also recently read two other books that offer great wisdom, compassion, and raw truth of humanities ability to both love and be cruel at the same time.

Clara's War is an biography of a women who was only a child during the war and hid beneath the floor for over a year with 15 other people. Her recollection of the battle not just within countries, but within her own heart certainly gives perceptive to our lives and how much we have to be thankful for. She wrote after her sister was viciously murdered, "And now we all had to go on without her, our lucky charm. We were still alive, whether we wanted to be or not. I now knew there was no such thing as a broken heart. It will go on beating to taunt you and mock you and tell you that even in grief it is indestructible and full of love." (Clara's War pp. 160) Upon realizing how much one man sacrificed to keep her safe she wrote in her journal, "I knew I would have to lead a life worthy of having been saved." (Clara's War, pp. 326) This not only gave me chills about her life physically, yet also our lives spiritually.

I also read "A Lucky Child," another biography of a man who survived his childhood within the Nazi camps. His life meet some very difficult situations, yet somehow, he survived to tell of his past. Thomas Buergenthal, the author, wrote this book. One quote which stood out to me is, "It took me much longer to realize that one cannot hope to protect mankind from crimes such as those that were visited upon us unless one struggles to ever break the cycle of hatred and violence that invariably leads to ever more suffering by innocent human being." (A Lucky Child, pp. 163)

1 comment:

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Nice reviews. Short but helpful.