Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Y.H. Brenner

He sent me a long letter

11th Cheshvan 5666. 1906

And the bloody clashes came, my brother, here they are!

And they didn’t come suddenly, my brother. No. There was a development, a gradual development, a development pursuant to the laws of the worldly scholars, pursuant to the laws of progress, this what these bloody clashes are, these bloody clashes, my brother!

A final, complete development: the eighties – blowing feathers and the emerging brains for centuries: at the beginning of the century, they tortured virgins and killed thousands; and now we are sitting in blood my brother, in blood!

Everything is dying my brother. The crusades, cities of souls, Jews eradicated, everything that is not ketchup before him is destroyed – will be stabbed; the more the terror of the Jews is before him, the more the humiliation of the Jews is on his lips, the more the weakness of the Jews is in his body – he will fall by the axe, by the fist.

...

The humiliation and the shame! Worry for the Jews of America, when six million have been hung on a burnt out gate? When twice as many as those leaving Egypt are under the hand of the predators and those prepared to slaughter – are these the “appropriate conditions for the development of the Jews”?!

What Judaism?!

...

The great Odessa....her sister Kiev....our small towns....our eradicated towns....our entire nation! Our young people and our elders, our women and our infants, all of us, all of us on the pyre...and you....I’m puzzled, I’m puzzled.

And you are also puzzled, the one sitting there, how is he sitting there writing such letters and in the holy language –

And I am revealing to you, my brother, that if there was any shadow in my heart, none of the sixty of hope, if there was no freedom in the fire of my heart: “the gentiles will be over and there they will end” – because then truly I would not be passing time for no reason, nothing of nothing that I have. Because even the clothing covering my skin I would dedicate to her sons; and naked and barefoot I would wander around the streets and shout: “the rest of those remaining, do not give my blood to you! To the desert!”

However my brother, I know that the gates of the desert are locked to us, because we will die there hungry in the desert and I hear a voice calling in the desert; because the people are bandaged, bandaged; because the people are burnt, burnt; because the people are rotten, rotten, because if there was ever a teller and their ears will hear, there is already no more vacant place for them and the world will act as it always does, will act as it always does, and I am writing to you, therefore, this missive, Because I do not know, I do not know, how else to do this.

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