Commentary on the book Mala’s Cat

This absorbing book is a reminder of the importance of remembering history.

Mala's Cat

As I read Mala Kackenberg’s autobiographical book entitled Mala’s Cat, I was reminded of how Indiana Republicans are trying to eliminate kids learning about historical events. A survivor of the Nazi Holocaust in Poland that killed her entire family, Mala wrote this powerful observation:

“We owe it to the dead to keep their memory alive by reminding the world of its responsibility never to forget. For to face the future, one has to understand the past.”

Mala fled to the forest at the age of 12 with her cat named Malach, as her parents and siblings were killed by the Nazis following their invasion of Poland. She and her faithful cat found a way to survive that frequently took her to the edge of death.

She later wrote this book after getting married in the late 1940s. She describes many of her harrowing adventures so that she would remember her family and friends whose loss she would always feel.

This book tells a harrowing story that humanity should never forget. Mala quotes an old saying, “. . . others may fear what the morrow will bring, but I must tell the world what happened yesterday.”

This book should teach Indiana Republican legislators a lesson. As Americans, we cannot understand our country today without remembering how we almost exterminated Native Americans and held black people in slavery for centuries.

Our kids won’t know who we are if they don’t know who we’ve been.