Moshe’s Letter

A/N: The following post discusses topics of WW2 and the Holocaust, including a deep dive into the letters from Jewish victims, death, and other possible disturbing topics.

This past week, we were assigned letters to read from the Holocaust, specifically the Jewish people who were either in ghettos or concentration camps at the time. It was definitely a heavy topic, and as the group discussion went on about these letters, the realization and weight that these were real people became more heavy.

I had read two letters, but the one that made more of an impact was from Moshe Ekhajzer. In essence, he was a loyal father and husband who poured all his efforts into making sure that his family would be able to survive and eventually escape the Warsaw Ghettos that were held into place at the time. The letter detailed instructions to his family on how to get food, how much he worries about his family, and how hesitant he is to fully depend on a companion to escape the Germans. It was jarring for me to see how selfless he was, especially how much faith he had to have in the future. How could one person have so much hope in his situation? Especially when he didn’t know when the war would end, how can he and other Jews create hope for themselves when they didn’t know if there was a future for them? In this letter, that last question really hits me since when reviewing the letter again, it seems as though Ekhajzer was preparing himself for death. I can’t say that I can fully answer this question, especially since it’s from another point-of-view, but I believe that without that hope, there

Despite the hope presented in the letter, I often think if it’s just a fake presentation or act to the recipients of such letters. It’s understandable if it is fake, since not many people would want to constantly acknowledge the harsh suffering and prejudice that they are experiencing. However, something I have yet to see is anger shown from the victims’ perspective or writing. I am sure it exists, but even in journal entries from various survivors, all I have read is hope and forgiveness, for the enemy and for the future. It’s bizarre to me because I believe that anger can be a good thing as it reassures us when something is wrong. It is a completely normal response. Were the victims afraid of showing anger or exasperation? Why weren’t there more Jews outwardly (in letters or writing) expressing their disdain or disgust with the atrocities happening to them?

Now thinking, perhaps from their perspective, conveying those thoughts publicly would definitely get them killed or worse. Not only that, but showing anger is common sign of losing control, so in a world where they needed to survive, staying focused on that task on hand was more important. It surprises me that a lot of the Jews, at least from letters and journals, were able to compose themselves and conceal those strong emotions. Maybe not writing those thoughts down discouraged manifestations of that anger, thus allowing hope and happiness to thrive in such a dark time.

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