Saturday, 10 April 2010

Sunshine, SAD, Avram Grant and Yom Ha'Shoa's Holocaust Survivors

Amazing. A whole day of sunshine. People out and about. Summer dresses (even though it's still chilly) and sandals and legs. Walking dog this morning (ok, I've taken him out of hibernation, notwithstanding my pure embarrassment, no, not really) and the people I met en route to the Heath were full of the real joys of spring. "Sunshine!" we shouted at each. "Blue skies!" We have all suffered from SAD this winter and to see the sun above is liberating.

The above was written three days ago. Since then we've had grey skies and wind but today it's sunny but SO cold!

Pompey did well yesterday. Avram was the saviour and 20 people crowded into the flat to celebrate Pompey making it to the semis before they made their way to the match. The fact that they're on their way to Wembley yet again to a final, notwithstanding that they are broke, relegated, full of injured or out of contract players, is irrelevant. Avram wore his black armband and celebrated how strength of mind and the fact that football is not life or death encouraged his players to beat crabby 'Arry's lot. Go Avram!

To continue the Avram theme: Today was Yom Ha'Shoa, Holocaust Memorial Day. Avram left Wembley in order to fly to Krakow and thence to Auschwitz to go on the March of the Living. The fact that his father buried most of his family in the wastes of Russia, having 'escaped' the extermination camps, is a tribute to the way that Avram has led his life. He said that his father was born with a smile on his face and died that way.

A story on AP today showed that the Holocaust is not over for those who experienced it. Over 200 Jews remain in mental health facilities in Israel, never having been able to expunge their memories. Some are 'locked in', unable to speak; others chain smoke and stare bleak-eyed into the distance; some have grotesque nightmares and others, who had managed to make lives for themselves post-war and have families and grandchildren, have found themselves back on psychiatric wards because these horrific memories will not leave them and have placed themselves at the forefront of day-to-day lives.

Ruby Wax, who writes that she suffers from depression, is going around the country with some kind of comedy show for those who suffer in psychiatric institutions. Perhaps she should wonder how Holocaust survivors spend their days. There's no comedy in trauma.


Anonymous said...

about your last comment. i don't agree that there is no comedy in trauma. after bad things happen the jewish way of dealing with them is to laugh about and not let it get you down. we, in israel, tell holocaust jokes - it helps reminding us what happend but to keep our heads tall, that way we NEVER FORGET but we keep our pride.

Ros Morris said...

I agree that we should never forget. Do you really tell 'Holocaust jokes' in Israel? I've never heard them there...! There's not an awful lot of fun to be had on that subject, although we appear to be living in Chelm here in the UK though. I guess there's comedy in that!

Thanks for commenting.