Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Network
First Reflection
Dani Novak
Math Professor at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA

DaniI am now 54 years old man. A single child of two Holocaust survivors. I was not emotionally aware that this effected my life so deeply until I was about 40 years old. I lived with a white elephant in the same room for forty years and was not aware of the animal. But it was in me. In my psyche and bones and thoughts and feelings every waking and sleeping moment of my life. The fears were almost unmanageable yet I was not aware of them. Somehow I managed to survive and never was in a mental institution nor took drugs. The feeling that started to emerge when I began to discover it (when I was about forty) was that of a thick despair. A cloud of depression and sadness that I lived with when I was growing up with my parents in Israel. They never spoke about the Holocaust. They wanted to protect their only child. But the they could not because when negative emotions are buried they are much more potent and powerful.

But now, 14 years after the beginning of the dawn of awareness, I am happy and peaceful most of the time, full of Love, Creativity and energy. Not completely healed yet. There are still moments and difficult days but they come more and more rarely and each time something good comes out of it. It feels like a huge mountain of ice was melting and it became a hill and then there are just remnants here and there and the sun is still warming the earth.

How did I heal? It was the innate Life force. Some people call it Divinity or God and it has many other names but it is an experience which cannot be communicated but must be experienced. I hope to share some of these experiences here in the future.

I believe that here can be a place for me to share my nightmare and the hope and light that I experienced so much in my life and I will do it in parts.