Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Every Day in May #4- A Powerful Book
So far, all of my gratefulness entries in my Gratitude sketch journal have been pretty lighthearted, but today I was pondering gratitude for something much more simple yet important- something that most of us take for granted every day- having our basic needs met, and being safe and free from oppression.
I just finished the short biography Night last evening by Elie Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as other many other impressive awards and medals. His name is truly synonymous with the word "survivor," He lost his entire family in the Holocaust, and would have died also at age 16, if not for the liberation of the death camp at Buchenwald on April 11, 1945.
I have read books and seen movies about the Holocaust, but when I visited the National Holocaust Museum last month and saw the most incredible exhibit there, I felt like I had experienced the information in a much more personal way. I watched the tape rolling while it showed the list of one after one of the over 400 laws that were passed when the Nazis took power, stripping everything away from the Jewish people, little by little. First, things as strange as not allowing them to buy eggs, then requiring their identification with the wearing of the gold star, and then much, much worse.
These people were financially destroyed first, quickly followed by the most inhuman of acts, meant to destroy them mentally and physically, until they had given all they could give. Once that happened, they were either left for dead or were taken to be killed. It is still hard to wrap my mind around the craziness of all of this, and the sheer evilness of it too.
This sketch is vastly different from my last Every Day in May sketch (the one of Spring, and my Gerber daisies. It is much darker.
I used a Micron 01 pen, but penciled in a few lines to help me stay on track. The text was difficult to draw. Being "perfect" is not my forte.
For some reason, as I did the dark hatching and crosshatching, the drawings of Edward Gorey popped into my head. Maybe it was just all that black crosshatching.
Night made me sad as I read it, but it also made me very grateful to have the life I live.