There were so many people in the city yesterday on this unseasonably warm weekend. I’m headed out in a bit to hang out with a friend for the day. Often I work on Sundays but today I’m putting it all aside as I rest and gather for what will be a busy week. Earlier this past week my friend Sami Steigmann emailed me and others the link to his new website. As I have said before Mr. Steigmann is becoming an increasingly known figure in the field of Holocaust memory. He was born in the bloodlands of Eastern Europe in 1939 when Europe and the rest of the world seemed determined to commit suicide. The Second World War reached the small enclave that was his village a year or so later, with terrible consequences.
We are almost two decades into the twenty-first century and the events of the twentieth are still playing out in ways big and small all around us. Sami’s is just one of the hundreds of millions lives touched by those events. The mind can’t wrap itself around such numbers however; the only way to comprehend it is through stories about individual people. I don’t know if Sami put it together himself but the website is beautifully done. It is a helpful reminder that that World War 2, and even the First World War, are not merely history but in a very real sense current events, with the effects being felt today on personal lives.