life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A swastika on her birth certificate

It's customary, on the yartzeit, (the anniversary) of a parent's death, to go to the synagogue to say a special prayer.  I was in the middle of the Caribbean on my father's yartzeit, and so chose to honor his memory in synagogue this morning.

It was a busy morning in the synagogue, with several of us observing a yartzeit, one celebration of a new grandchild, and a bar mitzvah.  And afterwards, we all had bagels and coffee.

And I found myself talking to Helga, whose father and grandfather were taken from the family home on Kristallnacht, and sent to concentration camps. She was a very young child, but she remembers the Germans breaking into her home, she remembers one of them kicking the china cabinet with his black boot.

She tells me that her original birth certificate, buried in her safe deposit box, bears a Nazi swastika, a reminder of who she is and what she has endured.

She listens to one of our fellow congregants rant about how Trump "can't be an anti-Semite, his daughter is married to a Jew and raising her children Jewish, how his organization employs many, many Jews." 

But she is afraid.

She has seen all this before.

2 comments:

bookworm said...

Most of the Jews I know voted for Trump because they considered him more of a friend to Israel than Clinton, and you would get the same argument (Trump has a Jewish son in law, how can he be a threat to us?). I did not understand it. Perhaps I was one of the few who voted for Hillary. As someone who was, briefly, a history major in college, I was and am quite concerned. Alana

songbird's crazy world said...

We have reason to be. Trump is an anti Semite, he stereotypes Jews. I had to explain to my fellow congregant the concept of "gentle chauvinism". You heard Trump tell Republican Jewish donors that they are all deal makers who are good with money, useful to him, like the court Jews of the medieval world. The White Supremacists he has unfettered are not so kind.

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