On "The U.S. and the Holocaust," Tom Stoppard's "Leopoldstadt," and living with—and without—history.
My mother came to America in 1938 from Germany. She left behind her parents who were shot by the Nazis in a forest near Riga, Latvia in March of 1942. I have recently finished a book about her experiences growing up in Germany and those that followed when she emigrated to America. I have seen Ken Burns's series and read reviews of Leopoldstadt and anything else that comes along that will help me try to figure out the answers to which to this date I have few. Currently I'm reading Morgenthau. It's 1364 pages and goes through four generations starting with Morgenthau's German Jewish parents who arrived in New York in the mid 1800s. Maybe there will be some answers there.
Of all the danger signs we are seeing now, the rise of anti-Semitism AGAIN, here and now, is a warning all people have to grapple with, Jewish or not. I'm not, and I truly believe that anywhere and anytime it crops up means a society has lost its way and is heading for a fall. As for Succession, I loved it but never felt for any of the characters. Rich people who don't do good have no substance.
I’m British and was living in Berlin during the seventieth anniversary of the Kindertransport. I sat in on a remarkable interview with someone who had taken part and, later in life, returned to her family’s home (complete with bullet holes) to live with her husband, who was a survivor of the Partition. That’s when I learned how Britain cut off the escape not just to Palestine but also to the UK. Also that the children sometimes ended up in abusive households. The UK likes to celebrate its role in the Kindertransport but rarely tells the whole story.
A couple of comments. My family (great grand parents on my Mother’s side came from Łódź. Many came over to the US but some stayed behind and perished. One of my distant relatives wrote a family history that states this.
As I may have said before Caro makes Coke Stevenson the hero so to speak but he was a narrow minded politician. Of course, the story of that missing box is a great story.
I found Succession compelling because I used to be a corporate lawyer and certain people in the show reminded me of people I had met. However, obviously most people who watched weren’t corporate types. If you put aside they were fabulously wealthy what made this show compelling were the characters, their personal failings and how they dealt with each other. It’s tragedy at its best. Throw in some incredible writing and acting and you had a great show. The episode about the election epitomized this: damaged people making decisions for personal reasons that affect us all. That’s why we had a January 6th: a man who couldn’t personally accept losing because his father psychologically damaged him.