Sunday, 27 November 2016

Vasily Grossman - The Road

In the opening of his novel, Maria Arsene has the following motto:

"Always keep in mind that the memory is your legacy.
You have to share it with others so that it won’t perish along with you.
Remember this! Remember this!"

Reading 'The Road' by Vasily Grossman, I realized once more how important it is to keep alive the memory of certain things. They say that history continues to repeat, and that people do not learn from their mistakes. Maybe that happens because we choose to forget, to ignore memories.
Aside from a couple of touching but realistically written short stories, in 'The Road' there are certain short stories that include testimonials of the survivors of German camps. The story 'The Hell of Treblinka' is one of such stories. Here, the writer conveys an answer to the question 'What's the use of us keep remembering such horrors?'; and namely, that the writer has the duty of telling the story, while the reader has the duty of keeping oneself informed, for by ignoring the history, the memory of the death is dishonored. 
Written almost 100 years ago, this story brings to the attention current inquietudes and questions. Grossman goes on beautifully by stating that we should not concentrate upon the responsability that Germany had towards the committed atrocities, but all peoples and current and future citizens have the duty to make sure that something like this never happens again. And that they should always remember.

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