Ms. Moscova, now an octogenarian, was only a seven years old child when invading German troop had arrived in her village during the mayhem of the Great Patriotic War (the Russian term for World War II). Now, she began reliving those early childhood days. On arrival, the German soldiers began looting houses, subsequently setting them on fire. They began to arrest able-bodied men, line them up on the periphery of a mass-grave newly dug by soon-to-be victims themselves, and then shoot them. Afterwards, the surviving women would gather all their children and flee into the dark forest on the edge of the village. Ms. Moscova had two younger siblings. After two days in the forest with no food or drinks, her mother instructed her to look for some wild berries grown in the region. As darkness was falling, she found a berry-field and began collecting the fruits in quiet. Suddenly she sensed the presence of an animal behind her. She turned around. That’s when her right index finger barely touched a gnawing tooth of a vicious German shepherd held on a leash by a German soldier looking for escaped activists. He ordered her to keep quiet allowing her to collect the fruits, and led the dog deeper inside the forest. This memory now opened a floodgate of subsequent wartime memories.
She sat on a nearby bench and took another look at the same sculpture. A thought ran through her mind “Indeed, the universal evilness remained unchanged throughout human history, whether it was practiced in the context of mass-killing in a brutal war or in dehumanizing segregation based on skin-color.”