The power of genealogy

There was a lot of internal debate about how to start this text. It took me almost a month to decide, and you will never know how many times I changed it before publishing it. But life can’t be led by theory, it demands action, so here it is, published for your entertainment and my self-pleasure. Before anything else, though, I want you to read what I wrote during the minutes that preceded the discoveries that would later lead me to the writing of this text. Here it is: Continue reading “The power of genealogy”

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the horror of being human

A few weeks before I traveled to Berlin with my sister for the weekend, I saw the photo that a former university colleague posted on Facebook. It was the entrance of a concentration camp, and she had subtitled it with the saying: “One of the most disturbing experiences of my life.”

After some research, I discovered that it was the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, located fairly close to Berlin (there are several companies that offer daily visits with guides fluent in English and German – the one responsible for our day trip was Insider Tour). I got morbidly excited with the prospect of going there; after all, it is one of the most horrific places created by man. Continue reading “Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the horror of being human”

A life-changing diary

The Diary of a Young Girl, published in 1947, was originally a diary written by a German/Dutch Jewish teenage girl named Anne Frank between 1942 and august 1944 – when she and her family were captured and taken to a concentration camp. She died a few months later, supposedly from typhus.

I first heard about the book in 2013, I guess. I wasn’t really interested in it at the time, so I let the name come and go on my mnemonic bookshelf. Then my sister read it and couldn’t stop talking about it. Curious as I am, I peeked at a few pages, but lost interest (again) right away. The style and the problems exposed in the first entries, when she is free and spends her days with friends and boyfriends, were way too irrelevant. Continue reading “A life-changing diary”

Budapest and Hospital in the Rock: an example of human resilience

It’s World War II. We’re in Budapest (Hungary). More specifically, we are under the Buda Castle Hill, in the middle of a corridor crowded with injured people. You can hear screams, pained moans and weeping. One of the only six doctors available runs by you with a stethoscope encircling his neck. His eyes are red from weariness, and if you knew him well, you would notice that in the last few weeks his face has aged considerably. In the enclosed, sultry corridor, you see him enter a room – if it can be called like this. It’s almost a closet. But inside are three patients. You don’t even want to imagine what he’s doing there, but you squirm with the sounds that come out of it. Continue reading “Budapest and Hospital in the Rock: an example of human resilience”