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  • Writer's pictureAllon

015~ Personal Aftermaths

Updated: Mar 20

I met Inge through Claudia, whom I got to know while working as a photography instructor with gifted children. Claudia was well-informed about my project and introduced me to her German friend during one of her visits. Our first meeting turned out to be a disaster. Inge arrived with another colleague, both Germans and psychologists specializing in PTSD. I felt like I was being interrogated at a police station. By the end of our initial encounter, my voice was cracked, I had a headache, and I was completely out of my element. Anxiety played a major role in my discomfort.

However, Inge didn't give up on me. The following year, she returned alone, bringing along beautiful socks for the kids. During our conversation, she expressed interest in knowing how my project was progressing. I shared enough information with her, and that's when she mentioned something about her generation's rebellion against their parents. It felt like the right moment to inquire about her father, which wasn't difficult with Inge as she is such a pleasant person to be around.

I bring here (with her permission) an essay I prepared especially for her, together with a photograph I took, on a walk about I especially planned to process my thoughts regarding her story, which, as a father of a 6 year old, at the time, hit me straight to my heart.

Following the essay, is the photograph I captured especially for Inge.

I did it with only the best intentions to help her feel good/better.

I admire Inge. 💚❣️

"The Coupling Hook"

During 2018, I had an emotional conversation with a friend from Germany. She shared with me the story of her father who had worked for the German train company during World War II. Knowing his association with such a notorious company during those dark times, she couldn't help but suspect his involvement in dubious actions. Her assumption was confirmed when she confronted him, and he finally confessed his secrets.

He admitted that his job was to connect the lute-carts, a revelation that further solidified her doubts. In response to his confession, she made the difficult decision to sever all ties with him, never speaking to him again.

Sitting in our garden at the present moment, now older than she was when she confronted her father, I find myself contemplating the situation. As a father myself, my heart goes out to fathers who faced such challenging circumstances. I can now deeply relate to the profound goal of survival that must have consumed him. In attempting to rationalize the madness of that time, I acknowledge that many others may have done far worse than him.

This story has left me feeling saddened and has kept me pondering the complexities of the "other side." After much contemplation, I decided to visit a Holocaust memorial monument I had heard about in Netanya. There, I came across an authentic train cart, provided by a memorial organization from Germany. It became the focal point of my quest to gather my thoughts and emotions.

As I condensed my reflections into one specific element of the train cart—the coupling hook—I realized that it symbolized a duality. On one hand, it represented the connecting piece that formed the chain of the train. On the other hand, in this particular context, it embodied the detachment of a family lineage, a heartbreakingly poignant symbol. 💔

The Cattle Cart Coupling Hook


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