We who have become cynical,
Whom life has raised its tough first
Of despair and
Disappointment and heartache
We who have learned to protect our souls
And toughen our hearts
To avoid more anguish
When I was an undergraduate, I spent a semester abroad in Germany. I was there, of course, to learn German: that was the express purpose of the trip. But I also had felt a need to go there to find out whether Germans were a different kind of people.
My mother is a survivor of Auschwitz. She lost her entire family there. The Holocaust is a tragedy that has been a major factor in my life, one that has driven my push for social justice.