Saturday, 25 February 2012

# 56 [12 January 2010]

I frequent a forum for guitarists - I took part in its Christmas quiz. I had a few queries to pose to the quizmaster and following a few private-messages he asked what line of work I'm in:

Just had a look at the website and your CV to get a feel of what you do. I loved some of your stuff particularly your latest project it made me think of the Pastor Martin Niemöller poem

They Came For The Jews

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

My father who is still alive at 90 was in WW2 . . .

My dad was born in 1919 in Liverpool, his father died when he was 7.

The family name was Abrahamson which, like many Jews, my father changed in the 50s to Graham.

He spent his 21st birthday in a trench at Dunkirk being straffed by Stukas; he then had to go on the run for three weeks having not been able to get on a boat, coming back and getting on one then. He ended up fighting at the Battle of el Alemain where he was wounded driving an ammunition truck.

His father's family owned tobacco plantations in the Dutch East Indies in the early 19C, which were annexed by the Germans.

He is real fighter even now . . . He married my mum on 2/1/48, they celebrated their 61st wedding aniversary last week. I put their longevity down to the chicken soup.

My mum was born in Brick Lane and is Jewish. I am Jewish. I grew up in a mainly Jewish enviroment in NW London but I do not practice, although as I get older I am more aware of my Jewish history.

I have heard people who have been to visit concentration camps being moved to tears by their visit. . . I was very moved by your interest in the camp near you. I want to go to the Holocaust museum which is near me, but I have to go when I feel that I can deal with it.

I have the " I Came For The Jews "poem engraved on my heart and on the wall in my house, it has been my compass throughout my life, not really to do with anything Jewish, but because I have always stood up for the underdog, minority and protested and fought for what I believed to be right. I suppose that's why I became a lawyer.

The saddest part of all is that the human race have never learnt from the lessons of the Holocaust they still happen. Look at Africa.

Following an innocent exchange regarding an online quiz (I came 2nd incidently) I stumbled upon something much more rewarding. Paul is now going to advise me on the best way to research my Jewish family, the Moscovitchs and Abrams.

No comments:

Post a Comment