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  • My grandmother's sister was murdered by the Nazis in Berlin - whilst in a Sanitorium (long term care hospital). She had olfactory hallucinations where she smelled flowers all the time. Of course rather than seeing this as a beautiful gift the doctors thought of it as a terrible symptom of mental illness. One day they told my family when they came to visit that she had died of pneumonia. My family knew it was a lie as you don't get pneumonia overnight. They came to visit & found her bed empty & someone came in & handed them a paper w/ 'pneumonia' written on it.

    That was the cause of death/lie they always wrote. Like in Apartheid South African prisons when the cause of death was almost always a 'fall down the stairs'.

    My grandmother & her family did not judge her as the doctors did as we were/are animists from near the Baltic - who practised folk beliefs passed down through the family for thousands of years. We believe visions & dreams have significance & give us direction & that there are two worlds. This one & the other that you journey to. And that those who have gone there can communicate w/ us. Mostly through dreams to warn of illness or danger. A few years ago my grandmother's sister 'told' me in one of these that she saw white snow flakes swarming around her just before she passed. I think it may have been the Zyklon B. Or as she stopped breathing her vision was affected. Or we believe you pass through frozen fields of ice & snow in the underworld to get to the other world. So perhaps she told of the snow.

    My mother was brought here as a DP by the Red Cross & eventually brought my grandparents. My father is Arab American. Ritual hospitality is very important to us & since childhood Indigenous friends have been very accepting of me here & I'm very thankful for that. I fight for decolonisation in Palestine & elsewhere as our ancestral home in the South of Lebanon was occupied until 2000 & has been decimated by bombing from the State of Israel as well as other human rights violations - such as arresting whole families including children.

    I just found you here for the first time a few hours ago. Prayers for everyone xx
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