Visiting Ohlsdorf

     I don’t visit cemeteries any more than necessity, or convention, demands. I go to occasional funerals of people close to me, but visiting an established grave to pay, as we say, my respects is not my practice. Still, given the rare opportunity to visit for the first and probably only time the grave of my great-grandfather, I utilized it. I had to. Missing a chance like this would have been heartless, and I am not altogether callous. After all, I still carry around memories of him alive and perky during my childhood, and I might...

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Hilda Prays at Birkenau

I’d die a thousand deaths for you, dear God. I am twenty and quite fair enough to look at but that’s no help to me while I am being thrashed. They strap my fragile body to a chair; my head hangs almost to the floor, the cold and black cemented floor. I’d die a thousand deaths for you, dear God. I’d die a thousand deaths. I hear the whooshing sound of the leather belt before it hits my naked bony back and coils itself against my skin. Tight, tight, I grasp the chair’s thin legs and squeeze my nails into the wood....

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