I remember. Do you? Holocaust Remembrance Day

I remember. Do you? Holocaust Remembrance Day, a blog post by Dr. Abi Weissman (PSY 27497) of Waves, A Psychological Corpooration


I remember when I visited a concentration camp. It was in Berlin. We took the subway and got off in a suburban community. We walked past pizza shops and little children playing outside with colorful ribbons. It seemed like a safe enough place. And then, walking forward, I looked up and saw it in front of me: big reddish brown gates. Blocking the entrance was a vendor selling snacks and toys and knickknacks like at a street fair.  When he shifted, I could see inside the gates at what looked to be a park of sorts.


I had warned my friends and colleagues that I was probably going to be sad that night. It was Passover, one of the holiest days of my Jewish tradition, and we were visiting a concentration camp where so many of my people had perished, worked to death, starved, or burned. I was ready to be sad.


We stepped inside the gates and out into the beautiful sunlit park area and followed a path around the perimeter or the property. I felt the sun on my arms.


I was in a park on a beautiful sunny day.


I felt like I should have been happy, like those children a few blocks away. Had I been pretty much any other place, I might have been. Here in the concentration camp, I was decidedly not happy.


Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, I remember that moment in Berlin when I walked through the suburban paradise to a camp that housed death.


Today, I remember.


I remember like it was yesterday although it was 1998.


My walk took me around to visit the buildings. I read the signs describing what the buildings had once housed, and I felt sick. No one in suburbia rescued these people. They were alone, forgotten.



I kept walking. I knew I would get to The Ovens eventually. They were what I was most afraid of seeing. I was scared of the gut-wrenching grief and sorrow I expected to feel. I was ready to wail if I needed to. I readied myself and started walking again. I found them. They were half buried in a big rectangular pit that was dug into the earth. I screamed.


But not in fear.

In anger.

In resistance.

In power.


I screamed, "You didn't get me! I'm still here. We survived."


And I turned and strode off.



That was when I realized that I would not sink to the earth without a fight for justice and for what's right in the world.


And so today, some 19 years later, I am still here.


I am a psychologist. I am an advocate. I am a community organizer. I am an activist.


And I will remember the Holocaust, the Shoah. I will remember that we lost families: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, adults, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews, uncles, lovers, friends, those chosen and related by blood, and kindred beings.


I will remember


As I will keep up the fight for justice, peace, hope, kindness, life, and possibility.



May we each remember to grieve and remember to hope.


In solidarity,

Dr. Abi Weissman

PSY 27497

Waves, A Psychological Corporation

As always, this post does not represent a therapeutic relationship and is meant as general not specific advice. If you are seeking a social justice - oriented psychologist in Poway, California or San Diego, California, please consider calling me for your free 15 minute consultation to see if we are a good fit therapeutically!