Another, happier anniversary

It was a year ago today that I discovered the awesome history/death penalty blog Executed Today. It profiles an execution every single day of the year: “On this day in this year, so-and-so was executed, and here is the story.” It’s been running for a couple of years now. I was happy to take some of the burden off the blogger’s hands and have written many guest entries. I specialize in Holocaust/Nazi stuff but have written entries about other cases too.

Check ’em out:

January 15, 2000: Kasongo, a child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo
January 17, 1945: Not Szymon Srebrnik, who survived his execution at the little-known Nazi extermination camp Chelmno
February 23, 1629: John Dean, an eight-year-old arsonist and probably the youngest person ever executed in England
April 1, 1942: Not Hersh Smolar, a Jewish resistance leader from the Minsk Ghetto who escaped death through a ruse
April 6, 1945: Kim Malthe-Bruun, a resistance member in Nazi-occupied Denmark who also wrote awesome love letters
April 8, 1943: Otto and Elise Hampell, for writing seditious postcards in Nazi Germany (theirs was the story behind one of my favorite novels, Every Man Dies Alone)
April 13, 1942: Anton Schmid, a German who saved Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland
May 19, 1942: Shimon Cohen, a Lithuanian Jew in hiding who was caught by the Nazis
May 20, 1943: Wilhelm H., for writing anti-Hitler graffiti in a toilet
May 23, 1673: Thomas Cornell, whose allegedly murdered mother allegedly implicated him in a dream
May 27, 1941: Mirjam Sara P., a victim of the Nazis’ T4 program designed to eliminate people with disabilities
June 12, 1903: Ora Copenhaver and William Jackson, two murderers who happened to be hanged on the same day
July 30, 1419: The First Defenestration of Prague, wherein rioters invaded the town hall and threw a bunch of people out the window
August 15, 2004: Atefah Rajabi Shalaaleh, an unchaste Saudi Arabian teenager
August 18, 1775: Thomas Jeremiah, a black guy in pre-Revolutionary South Carolina who got too rich and successful for his own good
September 5, 1942: Children’s Action in the Lodz Ghetto, wherein the Nazis deported almost all the ghetto’s children and old people to their deaths
September 15, 1944: Mala Zimetbaum and Edek Galinski, who were caught after they escaped from Auschwitz together
September 29, 1941: Babi Yar Massacre, when the Nazis killed over 33,000 people in two days in Kiev, Ukraine
November 23, 1499: Perkin Warbeck, who pretended to be one of the lost Princes of the Tower
November 24, 2009: Two Chinese men implicated in a horrific international product-tampering scandal involving baby milk
December 23, 1942: Sasha Filippov, a teenage Russian spy during the Battle of Stalingrad (he was a minor character in the movie Enemy at the Gates)
December 27, 1944: Not Sim Kessel, an inmate of Auschwitz who survived one execution and escaped another, on the same day
December 30, 1818: Robert Johnston, a robber whose hanging was botched so badly that they had to do it to him four times

I’ve got more coming up too, including two later this month. I love researching and writing these things, and the owner of Executed Today loves having some of the responsibility taken off his hands. It’s a win-win situation. 🙂

Anniversary #2

So the attack happened two years ago today.

I’m not sure what to say about it. There are a lot of things I’d like to say, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, both because I want to protect the privacy of others and because I don’t want to open myself to more of the kind of abuse I experienced from certain people two summers ago. I’m still not sure whether or not it was a mistake to go public with the story or not. I had to deal with a lot of nastiness, but there was a great deal of support too. And my real friends stood by me. No one who knows and loves me ever believed I made the story up.

I still think about Rollo every day — often several times a day, and more so lately. What I feel about the whole thing is not so much fear as shame. Shame about all the stuff I said and did while I was with him, making him think I liked it, reinforcing every twisted belief he had that made him rape women in the first place, just because I so frightened of him. I know for a fact that he walked away blissfully unaware that I would go straight to the police. I’m very sure that, to this day, he believes he did nothing wrong. And I know in my head that I shouldn’t blame myself for any of that, but the shame feeling is there anyway.

But it’s been two years, and I’m alive and doing all right for myself, and he’s in prison and facing deportation to Sudan when he gets out. He’ll never bother me again, except in my own head, and I’m trying very hard to kick him out of there.

I guess that’s the best I can hope for.