Required Reading: "A Promise to My Grandfather"

Amazing story about a man’s promise to his grandfather.

When I was 9, I caught my grandfather shaving in the bathroom and that is when I saw it: His Camp Number – 58877241.

Not knowing any better, I asked him why he got such a “stupid tattoo”. He told me that he really didn’t want to get it and quickly tried to cover it with a towel. I followed him asking him, “Why don’t you get it removed then?” He stop dead in the hallway and without turning around said “So I don’t forget.” We never discussed it again.

When he died last summer, I told myself that he was finally at peace. As I stood over his coffin with my wife, I reached down and took his arm in mine. I unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it up. I looked at the number again – 58877241. My wife looked at me and asked “Why are you doing that?” All I could say was “So I don’t forget.” Right then I made my promise to him – Never again.

What is particularly fascinating about this story is the response he got from one woman about her own grandfather and his experience in the war:

They hauled him in front of a firing squad. The Captain of the Guard again demanded that the Jews among them be identified. Then one of the soldiers came forward and identified himself as a Jew. The Captain grabbed him and hauled him away and stopped the execution. The troops never saw the soldier again.

The soldier that volunteered the information that he was Jewish was named Roman Edemskoi (58877241) – the same man.

(Via MeFi)

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