Message from Tilford Bartman 30/10/99
Yes, it is powerful testimony indeed. Just think, what if the handful had not survived, or what if they hadn't the strength and the foresight to record their nightmare in pen and ink? We would than know nothing! I'm in awe of the survivors who went on the rebuild their lives in Israel and elsewhere. Also what hits home is the magnitude of the loss for all of us. . . what was lost! What if history had taken a different turn and the holocaust not occurred? Would I now be part of a huge family, whole and connected? Today my son is the only one other than myself and my brother to carry the family name.
When I read the account of the murder of my great uncle Birsha Bartnovski in front of his wife and three children chills went up my spine. What of the children? No one even knows their names. If not for the picture that was sent by Birsha in the late 1930's to his relatives here in America, It would be as if they had never been at all.
That we have such a strong Israel is our only consolation, and our hope! It is the keeper of the flame, and the protector of the lives and rights of Jews everywhere. Also I'm inspired to have the courage to speak against bigotry, racism,and intolerance wherever and however it manifests itself. I also have thought about the concepts of justice and revenge. Was there justice for the Nazis and their helpers after the war... precious little! What about plane old revenge? Many thousands of those directly responsible for our great catastrophe remained unexposed, and went on to live "normal" prosperous lives in Germany and elsewhere.
Well, our great people went on to build a garden... not more cemeteries!
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