A Son’s Memoir of His Father’s Experience in the Holocaust and Its Aftermath

March 30 2016

In A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz, the Swedish journalist Göran Rosenberg attempts to reconstruct the years his father spent in the Łódź ghetto and in Auschwitz as well as his life—and that of the author’s mother, also a Holocaust survivor—following the liberation. André Aciman writes in his review:

[T]he strength of this short book, [which] is so reminiscent of the best of W.G. Sebald, [is that it] is a reflective work that seeks to meditate upon the enduring and still-menacing shadows that clouded the lives of [Rosenberg’s] parents as he was growing up with them. It is more about the shadows—if we can continue to call them this—than about the camps themselves. In fact, and despite appearances, the real subject of A Brief Stop is not the father but rather the son who is seeking to retrace his father’s steps and who goes, like Telemachus, on what could easily be called a pilgrimage on the road from Auschwitz.

To do this, Rosenberg, who is an established writer and reporter in Sweden, needs to chronicle and capture the atrocities his father faced during the war. But what he is ultimately seeking to understand and to chronicle is growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust. This is about the Holocaust that is passed on, the Holocaust that colored his childhood whenever he heard Polish or Yiddish spoken either by his parents or by their minuscule circle of friends, or when his parents happened to drop a few hints about a past he couldn’t even begin to fathom, because what he had to work with was never the hard truth but the scars and shavings of the truth, because those who knew the truth were themselves unable to speak, much less live with the truth, because, let’s face it, they couldn’t understand it themselves.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Arts & Culture, Holocaust, Holocaust remembrance, Holocaust survivors, Sweden

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy