Article Index

Imbratisarea Iolandei / Iolanda’s embrace

As zice ca cel mai afectuos gest al unui om fata de celalalt este imbratisarea.

I’d say the most afectionate gesture between human beings is the embrace.

Din cordialitate, din prietenie, de bucurie, de tristete, de durere, din dragoste ... din lipsa de cuvinte ... de ramas bun !

Out of cordiality, of friendship, joy, sorrow, pain, love ... lack of words ... as a farewell !

As mai zice, ca intre ele, cele care ma impresioneaza cel mai mult sint imbratisarile dintre un copil si parintii lui.

I’d say, again, that among them, the ones that impress me most are the embraces between a child and his parents.

De cind ma stiu pling foarte usor, „din orice”. De exemplu, si acuma, daca vad, de 10 ori, imaginea Nadiei Comaneci cind a luat primul 10 , de 9 ori imi dau lacrimile, dar absolut intotdeauna, in realitate sau in filme, cind vad un copil, bucuros sau speriat fugind spre mama lui si luind-o in brate, pling ! Ma uit si parca simt caldura, protectia, dragostea, incurajarea bratelor si a ochilor care te privesc si parca aud cuvintele ...

... dar intre sutele de oameni goi, in camera de „dus”, peste care, din tavan, curge ... moartea ... ce poate face mama Iolanda ? L-a luat in brate pe micul Valentin, cu o mina, iar cu cealalta ii cuprinde pe Cornelia si Cornel ? S-a asezat in genunchi si ii stringe in brate pe toti trei ? Ii priveste ? Are puterea sa se uite in ochi lor ? Ar vrea sa le spuna ceva dar nici pentru respiratie numai are aer ...

Ever since I know myself I cry very easily, „out of anything”. For example, even now, if I see 10 times, the moment when Nadia Comaneci gets her first 10, 9 times I’ve got tears in my eyes, but absolutely every single time, in reality or in a movie, when I see a kid , out of happiness or fear, running towards he’s mother and hugs her, I cry ! I watch and I almost feel the warmth, the shelter, the love, the encouragement of her arms and of her eyes looking at you and I almost hear the words that ...

... but among the hundreds of naked people, in the „shower” room, over whom ... Death is pouring down from the ceiling, what can mother Iolanda, do? She took little Valentin in one arm and with the other one holds Cornelia and Cornel close to her? She’s down on her knees embracing them all? Does she look at them? Has she got the strength to look them in the eye? Would she like to tell them something but there is not enough air to breath let alone talk ...

... de multa vreme ma intreb ce este cu lacrimile astea ale mele? De ceva vreme, de cind scriu povestea familiei mele disparute, ma intreb: sa fie lacrimile acestea cuvintele pe care Iolanda nu le-a mai putut spune copiilor carora le-a dat viata si care, acum, ii mureau in brate (si daca ar fi putut ... ce le-ar fi spus?), sa fie strigatul in timp, de dincolo de moarte, a oricarei mame pentru dreptul oricarui copil care moare, la viata, sau pur si simplu e neputinta mea de a mai face ceva pentru ei ...

... dar nu si pentru ceilalti, care acum traiesc si care vor mai trai atit cit ne va ingadui pamintul, casa pe care o impartim impreun. Pentru ei se mai poate !

For a long time now, I’m asking my self what is with this tears of mine? For some time now, ever since I’m writing the story of my vanished familly, I’m asking myself: could these tears be the words Iolanda wasn’t able to tell the children she gave birth to and know where dying in her arms (and if she could ... what would have she told them?), could they be the beyond death cry of any mother for the right of any dying child to life, or is it just my helplessness to do anything anymore for them ...

... but not also for the others who now live and will keep living as long as the planet, the „house” we all share, will bear with us . For them it is still possible!

Edmund, Cornelia si Cornel, micul Valentin, Iolanda si toate celelalte milioane nu mai sint. Vintul le-a spulberat chiar si cenusa care v-a pluti deasupra noastra pentru eternitate !

Edmund, Cornelia and Cornel, little Valentin, Iolanda and all the other millions do not exist anymore. Even their ashes have been scattered by the wind and will forever float above us !

Nu lasati ca asa ceva sa se mai intimple !

Don’t let this happen again !

In memoria Iolandei, bunica mea, mama pe care viata si oamenii acelor vremuri au pus-o fata in fata cu ... imbratisarea suprema.

In memoria lui Valentin,


„micul” meu unchi, care a trait doar cit mama lui l-a putu tine in brate.

Tatalui meu Oliver, unul din cei 4 supravietuitori ai familiei si care mi-a spus ca cea mai mare durere a lui este ca , pe rampa mortii, la Birkenau, n-a apucat sa-si imbratiseze mama si fratii ... de ramas bun!

In the memory of Iolanda, my grand mother, the mother whom life and the people of those days put face to face with the ultimate ... embrace.

In the memory of Valentin, my „little” uncle, who lived for only as long as his mother could hold him.

To my father Oliver, one of the family’s 4 survivors, who told me that his biggest sorrow is that, on the death ramp in Birkenau, he never had the chance to embrace his mother and siblings ... farewell !

Cornel Lustig