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Monday, August 26, 2013

A Professor and his Dead Uncle

A few days back I wrote The Explainer: Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust detailing the horrors of the evil German leader's anti-Semitic policies, which killed over six million Jews. 

A couple of days back, I read a piece, actually more of a story, on the New Yorker website. My Teacher's Shadow, written by Caleb Crain, details the life and times of Prof. Peter Kussi, a Czech-born American Jew. The brilliantly written story reveals that the Jewish professor has a tragic background and that his outlook on life is heavily influenced by his dead uncle, who was killed at a Nazi concentration camp. 

Here's an excerpt:

"... between 1939 and 1942, the Nazis stripped Jews in Prague of civil rights, slowly but inexorably isolating them from the rest of Czech society. “It was, in the beginning, more a sort of chicane than a real danger,” Eisenstein writes. (When I first read this sentence, I had a vivid memory of Kussi using the word “chicane” in conversation and of my having to ask what it meant.) At first, Eisenstein reports, there were just a few restrictions on bank withdrawals. Everyone knew war was on its way, though, and “everybody was feeling then that a terrible thunderstorm was coming up—the air had become so sultry that all decisions and attempts bore a note of casualness and uselessness.

"Confiscations and arrests followed, but the early ones were intermittent and seemed to take place at random. A turning point came in the summer of 1939, when new regulations were posted that divided Jews from Gentiles in caf├ęs and restaurants. Soon they were divided in movie theatres, swimming pools, and parks. A little while later, the Nazis took away radios. Eisenstein lost his job. The family lost its home in the country. Bit by bit, their freedoms were taken from them."

I do not want take away the joy of reading the complete piece. I strongly recommend that you read this lucid piece; ts inspiring and humbling. Click here to read My Teacher's Shadow

1 comment:

NANI kakarla said...

Sir,

Can you please explain us why value of rupee getting decreased day by day. We will be very happy if you write a Explainer on this issue.

Thanks & Regards,
Sunil