Due to it being Holocaust Memorial Day today, I’d like to spend a moment talking about my Granddad.
He served as a mechanic in the RAF during World War 2. He didn’t have to. He wasn’t conscripted. He joined up under-age and was an Irish boy living in Cornwall.
When he was still alive and before he became very ill, he’d sometimes talk about the war and his role as an aeroplane mechanic. He mentioned how he retrieved the bodies of pilots when going out to plane wrecks. He talked about dodging going to Sunday service by pretending he was a Catholic. He talked about meeting Granny.
Yet, there was one thing that he would never talk about. And that was the concentration camp he went to help “liberate” at the end of World War 2. My family only knew of his role, because of old family friends mentioning it. My family doesn’t know which camp it was, but some day I plan to get a copy of his service records from the RAF in order to find out.
Of course these records would not really tell me what he saw at the camp. No second hand account can.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust launched a series of “Untold Stories” this month to show that the blight of genocide still continues today. Be it in memories or new abuses of human rights and new genocides. Here is the trailer: