Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Motivation

The first time I saw the United States Holocaust Museum it was horrifying obviously, but it was more than that. It reminded me of standing on the event horizon of a black hole, peering into the depths of darkness...that cold, unknown, and dark force staring back at you, offering only obliteration, but also a forlorn shimmer of hope.


In the museum there is a cattle car which was used to transport my people, the Jews to various death camps, and a gross monument to death in the form of shoes piled atop each other, much like the Nazis did to not only us, but the Romani, the handicapped, blacks, and anyone who did not fit the perfect race.


My grandfather has numerous articles of his time during the war on display in the museum, books, letters to my grandmother during the time he oversaw the Landsberg DP camp, and pictures. Horrifying pictures, pictures so devastating I keep hidden if for some reason a niece or nephew were to rummage through my place as kids are known to. These are pictures of my people, Jews piled atop one another like garbage, scantily clad and decimated to the point of not looking human.


The pictures of survivors are as or worse than those of stockpiles of the dead. Skeletons with barely enough flesh left to survive...if they were eight feet in height they could have passed as Frankenstein's monster...sunken eyes...yellowed skin...sparse hair that hung like torn curtain from their pates.

Upon leaving the museum my grandfather sat my brothers and I on a bench just outside. He told us that  during the war he had seen things that made him ashamed to be a human being...that we were capable of such inhuman and barbaric actions could never be ascribed words that would sufficiently describe the feeling.

Grandfather said that no matter how depressed or angry or wrought with despair he became, he would never let the bastard, Hitler win...he didn't say that part, rather he snarled, shaking his fist at the sky as if threatening the bastard...wherever his soul may have been. He explained we as Jews no longer could live as individuals...we were representatives of our entire people...at any point men like Hitler would point to even the most insignificant Jew and paint all of us in that man's image. Because of this it was our duty as Jews to live good lives, do right, and succeed. This was not religious in nature...from fighting in the war, Grandfather had learned hard that there was no God. This was revenge or rather justice...that, "I'll be goddamned if I let that bastard win"...to do well, live, and persevere was the greatest revenge or justice we could bring to Hitler.

THIS finally brings me to motivation. The above is my motivation, what keeps me going in all aspects of life, and most importantly writing. My grandfather wrote...several memoirs, and manuals on military combat which were consequently stolen by the Russian government and re-issued as one of their own manuals. He found it a complement, and rather funny.

Find your motivation. Something that does not give you the right to quit. You may fail...fail to become super rich...fail to become published...but you need to never quit. You only ever truly fail when you quit.

If you for some reason don't think you have this type of motivation, dig deep, and you will find it.

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