You Have Nothing to be Guilty About

I love to walk to work, even though it is a 45 minutes walk, often in bad weather, I don’t mind it. It clears my mind and gives me the chance to listen to music.

Yesterday on my way to work, I listened to the song “Help Me Make it Through the Night,” by Sammi Smith. One line in it kept coming back to me throughout the day. The line was “Yesterday is dead and gone.” I couldn’t help but think of those who survived the Holocaust.

For some of them, their yesterdays are still alive. Their yesterdays come back to haunt them during the night in their dreams, and the horrors they were subjected to and witnessed—are forever etched in their minds.

In their nightmares, they relive every moment vividly, even after 7+ decades. Aside from the memories of the camps and ghettos, they are haunted by a sense of guilt. They ask themselves ” Why did I survive?” They question the validity of their survival, why them and not their siblings or parents.

This guilt sometimes transferred to their children and grandchildren. For them, the Holocaust is far from over.

Dear souls, I know you must have heard this before, but you have nothing to be guilty about. You have nothing to feel guilty about. You did nothing wrong.

The guilt belongs to those who put you in an awful situation. It belongs to the evil men and women who tortured and murdered your loved ones. The guilt belongs to those who helped those evil men and women. The guilt belongs to those who stood by and did nothing. Absolutely no guilt belongs to you.

I hope you are able to recognize this because I know all of you are coming close to the end of your lives. I want you to live a time that remains in peace, and hopefully, you wake up one day without the nightmares.

All I want and can give you is my love and my undying commitment that your loved ones will not be forgotten, I will continue to tell their stories, let that be your comfort.

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