Just over a year on from her first speaking event at the renowned spiritual and self-development platform Alternatives, my grandmother Eva Schloss was due to return St James Church in central London. This time around an interview format had been agreed whereby Eleanor Bathurst, a friend who is well acquainted with her story, would be posing questions on the Holocaust, the Second World War in general and ideas of forgiveness, belief and the future. The event was named Peace in Our Time, an ode to the eternal quest which humanity has been on to find stability and a genuine acceptance among all groups and nations.
Eva has been speaking on her experiences in the concentration camps in Poland for over 30 years, and recently as part of keeping her legacy of sharing her experiences alive beyond her life, a holographic representation was made by recording the answers to hundreds of questions by many cameras in a spherical studio space. Although the technology was very futuristic, we hope that this tool can go someway to contributing to peace in these days.
Indeed, growing up in the shadow of such experiences with both of my maternal grandparents effected by the Nazi regime, I have developed a strong desire for working in peace relations. If you have been keeping up to date with my blog entries you will have seen that I have been active in trying to connect people here in London, as well as leading by example and leading a life of peace, forgiveness and responsibility, inter-personally and environmentally among others.
I have been writing poetry more regularly this past year, and when I heard first that this event had been planned at the St James Church, I put forward a request to recite a poem at the event. Although this is not typically something I feel completely comfortable doing, and required courage for me even just to suggest, I feel when we put aside our own individual fears or insecurities in favor of something which has a greater good at it’s core, that we are truly then making steps to authentic progress to a better world.
The poem I had decided I would recite was one I had written several months earlier, just around the corner from the church itself, in true serendipitous style, which came from a place of calling humanity to a place of embracing our shared origin, through the suffering we have been inflicting on each other, we can surely eventually come to a place of higher consciousness and truly perceive what needs to be done. I am working on a video recording of this same poem which I made in Jerusalem in 2017 and hope to upload this in the coming month or 2.
The feedback I received after the event was very positive and I now acknowledge the role I wish to play in participating in this way at more events in the future. See the poem written below, due to be published in UK Health Triangle in the coming months.
Peace in Our Time
How could we be pulled apart, though together from the start?
The same shared origin and so it’s heavy on my heart
The path to forgiveness is long and arduous
Acceptance is the only way past the arguments
We’re asking the same questions not listening for what the answer is
Walking around wondering just where the order is
To me the solution is here I can’t go on ignoring it.
Orbiting each other in this human constellation
I love you all unconditionally no hesitation.
But we need to come together, with no more souls aching
The clock is still ticking and really who has the patience
Let’s ask ourselves what kind of relationships we’re making
Whose role is it to heal and what path are we taking?
Nobody is perfect and sometimes mistakes are made
But look back at the sacrifice and all that they gave
We’re older now of course so respect has to be paid
To allow us to walk along the paths that we have laid.
The past is the past no human could have planned it
I only hope we can come to a common understanding
Granted, it’s going to be demanding
Look into my eyes, no harm here, by your side I will always be standing
If you would like to find out more about my grandmother’s life and experiences during the War have a look at the books she has written and which are available online.