First Line Friday is brought to you by Hoarding Books. It's super easy to participate. Just grab the book nearest you and post the first line. Or, you can bend the rules a bit, as I often do, and post the first paragraph, the first line of a certain chapter, etc. I once even posted the LAST line of the introduction of a book because it was THAT good. Then head over to Hoarding Books to check out the others who have posted from the linky widget and see what lines they have selected.
This week I am sharing a book that is deeply important to me. Last night I met the author, Agnes Schwartz, when she gave a talk at the fabulous and amazing Durham Museum. She is a survivor of the Holocaust and World War II. Please check out this post to learn more about her story and the struggles she faced, both during the war and after as she and her father tried to put their lives back together. These stories are so crucial to our understanding of history, and that was much of Mrs. Schwartz's message: this can never be allowed to happen again. There are so few survivors left, we must continue passing their stories on into each new generation. we can never allow those fiends who deny these crimes against humanity to be louder than we are.
"I started writing this memoir when I turned sixty in 1993. While I had contemplated doing this for a long time, I suddenly felt an urgency to do so. As each year flew by faster than the previous, I became more and more aware of my mortality. To put my life's story on paper had become increasingly important, important enough to invest in a laptop computer because I knew without that, this project would not get done."
I am still in a bit of awe over the talk last night. being face to face with someone who survived the terrible atrocities committed by the Nazis across Europe...was an incredibly humbling experience. When it was my turn to get my book signed, I asked if I could hold her hand. She said yes and I held her hand between my two, not knowing what else to say except "Thank you". I must've said it five times. She patted the top of my hand and smiled. I will never forget this, as long as I live. And I will make sure I do all I can to ensure that her story, and the stories of so many like hers, are never forgotten.