mardi 23 octobre 2018

Arthur Miller: "get aboard a ship to Palestine and leave the graveyard of Europe forever"

Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller (1915-2005), dramaturge américain, auteur notamment de "La Mort d'un Commis voyageur" et "Les sorcières de Harlem",  a visité l'Italie après la guerre.  Dans son autobiographie "Timebends" (1987), Miller relate des fait tragiques dont on parle si peu.  Il a rencontré des Juifs qui veulent quitter pour toujours le "cimetière" qu'est devenue Europe alors que les autorités font tout pour empêcher leur départ en Palestine.  La scène se passe à Mola di Bari et le grand écrivain qu'est Arthur Miller saisit parfaitement l'immense tragédie de ces Juifs:
"The town mayor confided that the "ebrei," Jews out of the German death camps, had been given shelter in the line of grand seafront palazzos that had been built by prominent Fascisti who had fled or were now in prison. Vinny found the way, which was difficult because the British were pressuring the Italian government not to allow concentration camp Jews into the country or, once in, to prevent them from taking ship to Palestine, and no one wanted to mention their presence to strangers. All Mola di Bari and Bari conspired to keep the secret. Finally at evening we found them, hundreds of people camped in perhaps twenty large houses facing the Adriatic, many nearly piled one on top of the other in corridors.

When we walked in I felt an icy hostility such as I had never known, a sense of my nonexistence, of my being transparent.

The women turned away from us to look after children, men and boys passed us by like draughts of air. But I knew that to make a wrong move that could be interpreted as aggression would mean being torn to pieces. I approached two young men, unshaven but clean, who watched me with looks of undisguised threat. I tried English, Vinny did some Italian, and finally I attempted some pidgin Yiddish-German, simply to wish them well and to identify myself as a Jew. They were not interested in my problem and could see no help in me for their own, which was simply to get aboard a ship to Palestine and leave the graveyard of Europe forever. Their mistrust was like acid in my face; I was talking to burnt wood, charred iron, bone with eyes. In coming years I would wonder why it never occurred to me to throw in my lot with them when they were the product of precisely the catastrophe I had in various ways given my writing life to try to prevent. To this day, thinking of them there on their dark porches silently scanning the sea for their ship, unwanted by any of the civilized powers, their very presence here illegal and menaced by British diplomatic intervention, I feel myself disembodied, detached, ashamed of my stupidity, my failure to recognize myself in them."
Lire également:
Ezra Pound appelle à l'extermination des Juifs pendant la guerre à la radio italienne (Arthur Miller)

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