Dedication to Those who Defied Death

Jolanta (Irena’s nom de guerre) saved more Jews than any other person during wartime: around 2,500 people.
Is there a better example of a combatant?
(“Irena Sendlerowa”, by Mariusz Kubik / CC BY 3.0 / Desaturated from original)

I didn’t write the words below — I just typed them. I don’t think I’d have the ability to transpose my feelings into words so strong, visceral, and honest, even if I had lived through what this man has.


The words that follow are a dedication contained in a book called “Semantography”, by Charles K. Bliss, the inventor of the language called Blissymbolics. As I read this book, I become more and more infatuated by the idea contained in it, the idea of a universal language, a language that can’t be spoken but only understood.

This man worked during seven years, at night after his working hours, using his old type-writer and the help of his loving wife, cherishing his impossible vision. Right or wrong, I envy this man’s determination. It fills me with awe. It makes me feel that there may be grander objectives in our mundane lives, objectives that aim for the higher parts of our souls.

This is just a very little homage to this man that is not among the living anymore, but who has left a fascinating unfulfilled dream behind.



This book about a new kind of common “language” is dedicated to those who understand another common “language”.

That other language is spoken with eye and heart only, and understood at the risk of death.

In our time and in all times men and women have answered that language and have died for it.

In the dead of night — a knock at the door!
Outside a human being, persecuted and hunted. A strange face from a strange country, speaking a strange language.
But the eyes speak — that other language.
To answer means almost certain death to the whole family.

Can we ever imagine the torments, the fear, the anguish, the desperation and the agonies of those men and women who answered that language?

Down in the cellar, amid rubbish and cobwebs lives a human being. No, it seems to be no human being any more. It shivers and trembles, it rots and decays. For months and for years, it has not seen the gold of the sun, the blue of the sky, and the green of the land. But his eye shines through the darkness and meets the eye of his saviour, who brings him a share of his own meagre ration.
Their eyes speak with each other and they give courage to each other. Don’t be afraid Brother, Sister! Let’s hold, hold out, until — until the catchers came and led them both away. And let them dig their graves first.

But many lived to breathe again without fear.

To you Brothers and Sisters, who answered that language across the barbed wires of race, creed, nation, language and misunderstanding — to you this book is dedicated.

In your spirit — the future will be built.

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