Chapter Six, The Last Jew in Vinnitsa

I read this morning – March 6, 2022 – that the Russians have completely destroyed the Vinnytsia [Vinnitsa] Regional Airport in Ukraine.  Whenever I hear the name of the town – Vinnitsa – I think of this photo.  It has been many years since I first discovered this photo.  Five years ago, I wrote this post.  I have quoted Holocaust survivor and the late Elie Wiesel many times.  I am compelled to do it again…

“To forget means to deny the relevance of the past.”


I understand if this chapter disappoints you.  It is quite short, but I can assure you, it is full of meaning.

I have contemplated this picture for years. It speaks of inhumanity, fear, hatred, racism … all of the negative things that continue to resurface since Cain slew Abel. As difficult as it is to gaze upon this image, it definitively captures Elie Wiesel’s truism

“To forget means to deny the relevance of the past.”

We cannot avert our eyes and our minds from those things we have done as human beings that we regret. True, the only moment that we can control is this precise moment in time. See what I mean? It is already gone and a part of a past we can no longer influence. Still, our past has relevance and to recall regrettable events is to learn from our mistakes with the intention of making the world a better place to be.

This picture inspired me to write a book. It continues to call out to me, “Do not forget.” I will not, and I will attempt to learn from my past, to repeat the good and avoid the not so good.


Tree Rings, Chapter Six, The Last Jew in Vinnitsa
Tree Rings, Chapter Six, The Last Jew in Vinnitsa

Tree Rings, Chapter Six


3 responses to “Chapter Six, The Last Jew in Vinnitsa”

  1. Gregory Chura Avatar
    Gregory Chura

    Gene, I remember this piece. Thank you for sharing. And learned today of a cousin living in Kiev. Prayers, please!

    Hospodi pomyloy.


  2. Theresa Schneider Avatar
    Theresa Schneider

    Yes, “haunting. Sometimes less is more.” I pray that THIS

  3. Alistair McKenzie Avatar
    Alistair McKenzie

    Haunting. Sometimes less is more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *