Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Holocaust Collective Memory

I often wonder if other Jews have the same thing that I do; an uncontrollable need to plan an escape route in case of an imminent second holocaust. This internal escape route planning happens at home and abroad. Here at home, the planned passage to Canada is through Pennsylvania.

This planning is an unconscious act and absolutely uncontrollable. It's not obsessive at all, it's an occasional check in on one of the many worst case scenarios that can be envisioned. I wonder if I'm young for this kind of thinking, but I don't think I am. I'm almost 40 and grew up with holocaust survivors and WWII veterans, my grandfather being one. At this point there's not that many arms tattooed with numbers that could take you by surprise in the summer, so do younger Jews have that same occasional sense of anxiety?


The Whiskered Auklet said...

I have to admit that Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale" made me (and others) nervous enough to wonder about possible escape routes in the event such a scenario should present itself.

Alex said...

Zoe, are you the reason I do this? Or is it just my Jewishness? Or maybe my own neuroses. Probably a mix of all three.

zs said...

I will take responsibility for many of your neuroses, including this one. Love you!

Steve said...

I've always got an escape route, but not necessarily in case of holocaust. There are plenty of potential disasters to flee from. Right now, there's a farm on a mountain in Western Maine that I'll try to get to.

My uncle grew up in the Warsaw ghetto and was a teenager during the war. When one day the occupying Germans rounded everyone up and started marching them away, he managed to escape. They were walking at night in the rain and he was able to get away. Never saw anyone in his family again.

Gabrielle mandel said...

I TOTALLY DO THIS!!! I am jewish, but I also think of an escape route if Nazis, zombies or dinosaurs (velicoraptors) came and attacked.

I usually think of where I am am ( cafe, school, bedroom) and think of how i would escape.


Lisa Hunter said...

I'll be your Canadian safe house. (And, yes, I have the same compulsion.)