The Day After the End of the War

The problem, of course, is that there really is no day after the end of the war. The fighting may stop but wars don't end until long after the survivors have perished, taking with them their memories of all that was lost.


Many years ago I saw a photograph taken by some unknown photographer who documented the Nazi death camps. The photo showed a storage room in which the personal belongings taken from the men and women about to be gassed to death...their eyeglasses, their coats and hats, their handbags, their shoes. The ordinariness of it all had a profound effect on me.


Several years later, the year the Holocaust museum opened in Washington DC, I saw an exhibit that echoed that photograph. A room with those same belongings. And I was filled with such a deep ineffable sorrow that even now it disturbs me.

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Taken on April 20, 2007