[Taken from Ari Fontrodona’s diary -page dated 11th November 2013-; edited, illustrated and provided with links by Li Fontrodona]
I am not a Jew and, as far as I can say, I have no trace of Jewish descent, but I am half-Romani (and also Catalan, since both my parents had this nationality and were born in Catalunya, as I was myself). So I consider Jewish people as my own kindred; all of them –whatever their religious beliefs, languages or nationalities– are my brothers and sisters, and this is due, in great measure, to the Holocaust before and during WWII.
Jews and Roma (and many LGBTIQ people, by the way) were killed massively, by millions! in the same camps; they burned together in the same furnaces, and their smoke went out merged through the same chimneys and spread, merged, all over this terrible, frightening world –and it should have covered it with a veil of compassion and repentance, or at least decency; but it did not happen that way… All of us, disregarding where we came from or where the wind took us away, are now sisters and brothers for evermore (at least to me and to my family; so we all speak it out aloud, since we think it is our duty).
About this brotherhood or communion in death, similar words –but more beautiful and touching– were spoken by an elder Jewish man, survivor of Auschwitz, whose name I’m very sorry not to remember, who attended the inauguration of the Porrajmos / Samudardipe Memorial in Berlin, not long ago (24th October 2012). He said it with tears in his eyes. God bless him. Since the very moment I heard it, it got etched as with fire in my memory.
To me and to many of my folk, Jewish people and Romani people are inseparably united since the Nazi Genocide; by torture and starvation; by death; by ashes and fire.
Once written this lengthy introduction, I can explain how deeply touched I have become when reading the dedication by Dr. Ernest Klein of his “A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language” (First published, 1965 – Copyright © 1966, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam).
It is a truly moving and harrowing dedication… It has prompted me to many tears.
After a plain, short statement which says:
“I am what my MOTHER and my FATHER made of me”
the dedication reads like this:
DEDICATED TO THE SACRED MEMORY OF THE BEST PARENTS:
MY DEAR MOTHER,
WHO AFTER A LIFE OF SELF-SACRIFICE DIED IN SZATMAR IN 1940;
AND MY DEAR FATHER,
THE WORLD-RENOWNED RABBI AND SCHOLAR
RABBI IGNAZ (ISAAC) KLEIN OF SZATMAR,
WHO DIED A MARTYR OF HIS FAITH IN AUSCHWITZ IN 1944;
AND TO THE SACRED MEMORY OF MY WIFE
AND OF MY ONLY CHILD JOSEPH (HAYYIM) ISRAEL,
WHO ALSO FELL VICTIMS TO NAZISM IN AUSCHWITZ IN 1944.
To those interested, Dr. Ernest David Klein (July 26, 1899 – February 4, 1983) was a Canadian linguist, author, and rabbi born in Szatmárnémeti (Austria-Hungary; now Romania).