Thursday, July 4, 2013

How can you make Reparations?

My week on Mcv Egan's history-related blog comes to a height with a new piece, this time written not by me--but by my father. This is my all-time favorite of his work, and it opens with a conversation between him and his counselor:

You're asking me to put here in writing, once more,
All that I lost, my esteemed counselor?
To list in detail, then describe and refine
And bring two witnesses tomorrow to sign?

My father's gold watch--I could just hear the sound  
Had three lids that were shining
Reflected in it I could see us, standing around
All faces aglow and rejoicing... 

And just when you might expect that he is making a list of physical properties that were confiscated by the Nazi regime, the poem takes a turn: when my father describes his father's gold watch, it is the entire life of his family that is reflected in the glass lids. This is what he demands to get back--not the value of the watch.

Check out the post here: Reparations.

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