TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena: Life Should Be Clear

With that in mind, what are the moral imperatives that govern your own life? More than once you have stressed how important it is to resist giving in to the thirst for revenge—that is especially important when speaking of experiences such as the Holocaust and learning how to live afterwards . . . Revenge is a horrible thing; it only leads to a dead end—to greater and interminable bloodshed. I was protected from taking the wrong path in that way by the oath that I gave my mother. 27 I never felt the need to take revenge on anyone for the wrongs that were done to me. But I have had conversations with people who cannot understand my position, who say: “How can you forgive the Holocaust? What right have you to do so? My mother or my uncle, who were murdered, could forgive. But you certainly cannot!” I don’t think that the person who s poke in that way was right, but I can understand him. To forgive, especially after some time has gone by, and to create the future, are 27 Reference to Irena Veisaitė’s mother, Sofija Štromaitė-Veisienė (1905–1941)—homemaker. Most likely killed in the summer of 1941, at the Ninth Fort in Kaunas, where a Nazi concentration camp operated during the Second World War. Earlier in the book (Chapter 2: “Everyone Could See that Lithuania was Trapped”), Irena Veisaitė describes the promise that her mother, during their last conversation before her mother’s arrest, asked her to make: “She instructed me to be independent and to live within my means; to always be on the side of truth, because, as the German saying goes, “lies have short legs”; and to never seek revenge, especially for personal reasons.”


Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter