Voices of the Next Generations

Next generations of former prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp tell their stories

his story, my future

By Helena Koopman
Gouache on paper, 29,7 x 42cm
The text in the piece is Dutch. Translated, it says: his story, my future.

Stories are powerful. Hearing a certain story can change your life. It can change the way you think, the way you act.

There is one story that has changed my life in many ways. It is my grandfather’s story, of his life and how it changed when the war broke out. It taught me many things: how important it is to respect one another, and how strong a person can be, even in the most dire of circumstances.

I like hearing stories, but I also like telling them. Through words, through pictures, through music. That’s what this piece is about. I want to share my grandfather’s story, because it’s an important one that can teach many lessons and that deserves to be heard.

The story starts at the roots. My grandfather’s hands, painted from referencing old photos of him, tend to these roots. He shared his story with my mother, who made sure that the story didn’t die out, and who helped me remember all the details of how my grandfather used to tell it. At the top the story thrives through the careful and caring telling of the current younger generation.


Helena Koopman