My favorite spoon is one that my wife’s father found, as a kid, on a beach in Sicily, at the end, or perhaps right in the middle of world war II. This spoon travelled half the world to arrive in Venezuela, with him, and then with my wife, to the US.
Of the few dozen spoons that we own, this one’s my favorite. It’s an antique, of course, and for me it’s very special because it belonged to a soldier. It’s made of what must’ve been the best stainless steel available at the time, and great pride must’ve gone into making it and equipping a soldier with it so he’d be able to eat with dignity in the midst of what was one of the lowest points humanity could’ve reached during the twentieth century.
On the back of the handle, it’s engraved with its manufacturer’s name and the winged logo of the third reich with the swastika underneath.
Today is the Day of Holocaust Remembrance and I thought it was appropriate to write about this spoon because, as I said, this is a spoon that I not only use, but I revel in seeing it in my kitchen drawer. I find it delightful that today I can open that drawer, grab that spoon, and enjoy my favorite cereal with it. And this sentiment is so strong because I am a Jew. I am, precisely, what the people and ideas behind this spoon most wanted to eradicate from the face of the earth. Every time I use this spoon it’s as if I’m telling those ghosts and those ideas “You wanted me gone, but here I am. You aren’t. All that’s left of you is this worthless spoon.”