Then I heard Vera Sharav speak. What a revelation. Every word she uttered pierced through the veil and laid bare the truth – and she did it with an authority and spirit that galvanised me and everyone there.
In Germany, it is illegal to make comparisons with the Holocaust, with the understanding that to do so is to belittle this atrocity. Vera did not get the memo – or if she did, she ignored it. As a Holocaust survivor, she has every right to: she’s been through this before, she knows how it goes. First, the state of emergency, then the media propaganda, the flouting of existing ethical codes… she’s seen it all, suffered through it all, lost loved ones through it all. And her message to us was, it is happening again, but this time on a global scale.
Her speech was a reminder to me that we must listen to our elders. Vera is 86 years young. She could be sat with her feet up enjoying her golden years. Instead, she is on stage, speaking truth to power, sharing her wisdom – the depth of which can only ever be gained through life experience. It was humbling for me, and I forgot my weariness in her presence, such is her life force. She has my deepest gratitude and respect for everything she is doing, and I want to ensure that as many people as possible hear her message.Dr. Tess Lawrie