The Choices of the Past

 

I spent the weekend in Son, Netherlands for the 74th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden, specifically for the 101st Airborne commemorations and living history. This was my second time experiencing this event.

This year I spent a lot of time talking to Dutch people about the choices their families made during WWII. In some cases, the family members fought in the resistance, were taken as forced laborers to Germany, or fought to survive the hunger winter of 1945.

In other cases, family members chose to join the German ranks and were sent to the Eastern Front. There has been a stigma around those who chose to fight for the Germans, that affects families even today. Even when those who fought are long dead.

My questions to you are....

Should we be bringing these family secrets and stories out of the darkness and into the light?

How much will that change the stigma attached to this part of history?

Can we stand back and observe the choices made and not judge?

Can we acknowledge what was done and learn something and move forward in peace?

© 2018 Jennifer Holik

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