b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEIN MEMORY OF A SURVIVORDAVID OLERE 1902 -1985 KATYA SILVERI n 1967 after the reunification of Jerusalem, my very close friend Anna and I jumped on a plane from Paris where were living to go to Israel, We were very excited to be among the first to pray at the Kotel. My friend and I spent a week apart, she headed to a holiday resort and I stayed with my great aunt.A week later I received a message from Anna, Come as soon as you can to meet my future husband. To cut a long story short I met the future, very handsome husband-to-be, Alexandre AlexOler. Their marriage seemed happy for a few years and they had a child, Marc.My friend didnt speak much about her in-laws. I remember her mentioning that her father-in-law was distant, he didnt show much emotion and seemed in his own world. One day when I was reading a book about the Holocaust, the name of my friends father-in-law flashed before my eyes, David Olere, he had added an e to the end of his original name. The book gave details of his early life.David was born in Warsaw and had studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He married in 1930 and with his wife moved to Paris, where he worked as an artist in a series of jobs including for a well-known film director. In 1943 he was arrested and then deported to Auschwitz. It was there that he was forced to be part of the Sonderkommando, a special unit responsible for dealing with and removing bodies from the gas chamber and the crematorium. He was one of the few people to penetrate the interior who emerged alive. He was liberated in May 1945. He dedicated his life to reproducing his memories through his drawings, paintings and sculptures. This gives a unique account of the horrible reality, barbaric treatment and crimes against humanity. He believed he had to tell the story on behalf of those who didnt survive. He came to public prominence because he was very gifted and the only Sonderkommando witness who survived and documented the unimaginable. It brings to mind the words of Andr Malraux the French writer: Je cherche la region cruciale de lme ou le Mal absolu sopposela fraternit (I am looking for that crucial region of the soul where absolute evil resists brotherhood). Davids grandson, Marc Oler, described his grandfather as, Very, very tough, very, very talented and very, very traumatised.Oleres work is also displayed at La Memorial de la Shoah in Paris.The horrifying monstruosit of the Nazis was inflicted not only on the inmates but also on their descendants who were on the receiving end of their traumatised parents behaviour. After learning the story of her father-in-law, my friend never proffered a single negative opinion about himMay he rest in peace, Amen.38'