Analysis of Gate 32
Summary of the gate
In gate 32, Mark questions Genia’s memory of her period in hiding however his mother is able to recite The Lord’s prayer in Polish while she was concealed by the catholic family. Genia recounts her experiences of hiding, focusing on the darkness of the bunker where she lived for two years. The testimony hints at the fact that her father Leo had a relationship with the women who hid them.
In his journey through memory, Mark baker discovers many facts and attempts to verify them almost to the point where he seems very obsessive. This notion is supported by the quote “ It was an uncontrollable urge, this repeated questioning of her, this interrogation, as if I was a David Irving and not her son pointing the video camera at her.” The repetition of “this” emphasises his need to verify his mother’s memory with history, therefore highlighting his obsessive nature. The simile and allusion to David Irving, a world renowned man for his skillful preaching of the holocaust denial, reinforces his conflicted perspectives of what is known to be true as he is unable to believe let alone empathise with his mother because as a historian , the only way he can be at ease is by being able to see some sort of evidence, whether tangible or intangible, to back up memory. “ Prove it. I don’t believe this part, prove it” baker repeats. Genia does so by reciting the Lords Prayer in Polish which is accepted as evidence of her hiding with a Polish family since her jewish spirituality could never have allowed her to learn the Lords Prayer in any other context. It becomes more obvious to Baker that he must rely on his mothers memory alone as not all events in history can be verified by empirical data, “ Yes, what do you think, that I’m making this up? Who can you ask? There’s no one to ask. Look at me now, isn’t that enough?” Genia is constantly trying to challenge her son’s role as a historian, to imply that sometimes memory is the only way...