Hy Penn – 3/21/11
Chaja – There are no tears in Chaja’s eyes. The tears dried up long ago.
We stand in front of the grave of Emanuel Verveer, her father. A beautiful stone marks the site of the only Jew buried on this Christian cemetery located within walking distance to the place we just visited – the place where Mr. Verveer was brutally murdered – by the Nazis.
Chaja has no personal memory of her father – only memories formed from the memories of others. As a 3 year old, there are few persistent memories – hopefully this cushioned a lifetime of tragedies she had already suffered.
We carefully place stones on the grave of a man we never knew, a man his daughter never really knew.
We recite Kaddish, we listen to Chaja speak of her father. We now know him.
Memories of memories. This is what we must continue to pass on to others.