Tale of a Childhood Witness to the Holocaust

Nov. 24 2014

The Polish author Marek Hlasko grew up during World War II. In the late 1950s, after a precocious success as a writer of fiction, he fell out of favor with the Communist authorities and fled (temporarily) to Israel—where, although not Jewish, he found a community of like-minded, Polish-speaking intellectuals. A new translation has appeared of his wrenching tale, told from the perspective of Christian boy, of the murder of the Jews of a Polish shtetl:

The boy was nine years old, in love, and knew already that he was in love for the rest of his life. In any case, he told his father in confidence first, but later, at his father’s urging, he agreed to bring his mother in on the secret as well, though he doubted she could understand it. The girl he loved was named Eva, she was younger than he by a month and twelve days. She lived with her parents in the neighboring home, and she came over to see the boy during the evenings.

“Can’t you come earlier?” he asked one day.

“No,” she said.

“Why not?”

“My father won’t let me. I’m only allowed to leave the house when it’s dark.”

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Holocaust, Holocaust fiction, Literature, Poland, Shtetl

Only a Clear Message to Iran Can Restore Israel’s Deterrence

Aug. 19 2019

Currently the greatest threat facing the Jewish state is an attack on three fronts, in which Hizballah and other Iranian forces launch tens of thousands of missiles simultaneously from both Lebanon and Syria, while Hamas—now also taking orders from Tehran—does the same from Gaza. Such a barrage would likely overwhelm Israel’s storied missile-defense systems, severely disrupt civilian life and possible result in high casualties, and gravely interfere with the IDF’s ability to counterattack. Noting that the Islamic Republic could unleash this mayhem at the time of its choosing, Benny Morris suggests a straightforward preventative measure. (Free registration required.)

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Syria