To Bear Witness

Claire Luchetta-Rentchnik

To bear witness, again and again, to bear witness despite the passing years, despite the fatigue, the returning pain, despite the welling-up of tears, the words which do not come forth.  

To bear witness for them. Them, my own, the others, those who remained there, those who must never be forgotten, those to whom I promised to stay alive to give voice, to bear witness. 

To bear witness, because some clamour that it is not true, that it did not happen, that we are telling lies, and worse, that we are lying for money! 

To bear witness, to overcome the fear that awakens, the nightmares rising again, the screams in the night. 

To bear witness, to understand the numbers on my arm. 

To bear witness, to say that we were women, men, children like you, like yours, like your parents, your neighbours, those you love or do not love; that we wanted, needed, like you, to laugh, to cry, to smile, to love, learn, work, play, live, TO LIVE… 

To bear witness, to explain that the executioners were not monsters, but men and women who commited monstrous acts. 

To bear witness, to remember those who risked – and sometimes gave – their lives to save others: the Righteous Among the Nations.  

To bear witness, to thank them. To bear witness, so that you, who in your hands hold the world to come, never forget, because it happened. 


Claire Luchetta-Rentchnik is a descendant of victims of the Holocaust. Living in Switzerland, she works with Holocaust survivors and organises talks in schools about the Holocaust.




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