Yom HaShoah: Hungarian Paprika

Today was Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

My grandparents’ friend Gabe is a Hungarian Jew who spent a portion of his childhood in a Nazi concentration camp. He was already an old man when I met him, and he spends his days growing rare heirloom tomatoes, some of which I have seen nowhere else.

Today I planted some Hungarian paprika seeds that Gabe gave me. He carried them over from Hungary. They’re a bit old but I hope they sprout, and that sharing them gives me another opportunity to tell Gabe’s story. I’ve heard that the majority of younger people are unaware of the Holocaust. But especially now in the U.S., we can’t afford to forget.

Seeds carry genetic memory, just as humans do. I hope that Gabe’s story as a survivor, as well as the ten million stories of those who didn’t make it, will live on with future generations of both humans and in the descendants of his tomatoes and paprika.

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