How could this be happening again, in 2023? This quote from a story by Yair Rosenberg, whose excellent "Deep Shtetl" column appears in the Atlantic, is one of many such expressions of horror and shock. "I’m a child of Holocaust survivors,” one Israeli woman told reporters. “I grew up hearing stories of the camps. I thought those were the worst stories. These stories are worse.
It had been a long time since I'd seen my friend, Margo—several decades, in fact. Growing up on the same block in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, we had been inseparable in childhood. Moves from the East Coast--I to Tucson, she to Los Angeles—and assorted life changes drifted us apart, but we recently reconnected on Facebook. My trip to LA to apply for my Austrian passport
As my CV will tell you, I am an editor as well as a writer. Correcting spelling and grammatical errors is second nature; I'm one of those people who proofreads restaurant menus (though not, you'll be relieved to hear, out loud when I'm with other people). So perhaps it's fitting that I should end up contemplating the fate of my namesake aunt because of a typo on a
This is Day 4 of the Family History Writing Challenge, 2018 While spending time behind the scenes trying to interpret the documents about Adolf and Bertha Schweitzer that I recently received, I'd like celebrate the remarkable source of those documents: the archive of the Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde (IKG) Wien. Getting Excited Over Old Documents I worked for several years
This is Day Three of the 2018 Family History Writing Challenge. I have said from the onset that this blog is intended to focus on how members of my family lived in Vienna, not on how they died. But for a long time, all I knew about my great aunt and uncle Bertha and Adolph Schweizer was that they perished at Treblinka: A Bit About Treblinka Death
No question, social media can be a time sink, but sometimes you meet really interesting people on line. Today's guest poster, Julian Preisler, falls into this category. Because the subjects he's writing about are of great interest to me -- as I think they will be to you -- I'm turning my blog over to him. Also, I was one of the people he enlisted to take pictures for his book.
There's so much to report about my recent trip to Vienna, hosted by the Jewish Welcome Service, and so little time to do it right now as I prepare to leave for a book tour. But I won't bury the lede. I'm thinking very seriously of returning to Vienna next year for a much longer time -- a minimum of three months, the length of a tourist visa. If I can get a work or study
First of all, thanks to all of you who participated in the win-a-great-memoir contest. Short and long, the family stories posted in the comments were great. I urge you to read all the them if you didn't when you posted your own story or if you're just checking in now. And the winner, chosen by Random.org, is... #11, a story of a family journey from small town
I consider myself a Jewish rationalist, someone who identifies culturally with Judaism without buying the biblical myths. The Exodus story of the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea, told every Passover? Just one of the many overwrought episodes in the Old Testament, akin to the stories of Noah's ark and Jonah's stint inside a whale (strange, given the desert locale, how