Notebook

Memory for Blessing

Anne Applebaum wrote of Linda Kinstler’s Come to this Court and Cry that it ‘reminds us of the dangerous instability of truth and testimony, and the urgent need, in the 21st century, to keep telling the history of the 20th’. For the past 75 years, remembrance of the Shoah has maintained a certain standard in Western historical consciousness. Are we aware of what is at stake now that there is hardly anyone left to recall and bear witness? Documented testimonies assume new significance, such as this 2006 portrayal of six Norwegian Holocaust survivors, including the noble Mr Jo Benkow, from 1985 to 1993 Speaker of Norway’s Storting. The last word in the film is given to Jenny Wulff (1921-2009), whose family perished in German camps: ‘When you need someone to console you, there’s no one there.’ To keep the memory of absence alive is now a moral imperative.