Book Review: Our Crime Was Being Jewish

“OUR CRIME WAS BEING JEWISH” BY Anthony S. Pitch

Followers of this blog have probably figured out I read a lot of books about the Holocaust and World War II. This book which I have read twice is among the most impactful for me. The author, Anthony S. Pitch has assembled the testimonies of Holocaust survivors and published them for the world to read.  These are testimonies that comprise the film “Testimony” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

What I found so compelling in reading the accounts of these survivors is each tells their own story as only they can. They speak for no one else. These testimonies are not grouped in any specific way by age, gender, chronology or geography. Pitch states he has not used an index in his book because “many who should have been included were silenced by murder.” These are the stories of those who survived and the thing they have in common is being Jewish.

I highly recommend this book. It is heart-breaking, but so enlightening. I wish each citizen of the world could read it and remember, lest it is repeated.

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“Yet, nearly 6 decades after the Holocaust concluded, Anti-Semitism still exists as the scourge of the world.” Eliot Engel

Nearly a century later not only anti-semitism still exists, but also genocide. Think of Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia.   

Holocaust Novel

“All My Love, Detrick” by Roberta Kagan

Most of my reading about the Holocaust is factual but I decided to try this best-selling novel and I’m glad I did. As the title indicates it is a love story. Detrick, an Aryan, falls in love with Leah, a Jewish girl, and their struggles to be together are very realistic. There are parallel love stories of other couples that unfold smoothly throughout the book. There is plenty of love-making but also tragedies among the characters of all ages.

I enjoyed the book and would rank it four stars out of five. I know I’m a hard critic for a book must be great literature for me to give it five stars. “Sunflower” and “Night Trilogy” come to mind in that category.

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“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” Helen Keller

National Day of Prayer

History of the National Day of Prayer (NDP)

The NDP began in 1952 when it was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. It was amended unanimously by Congress in 1988 and signed by President Ronald Reagan. That Amendment designated the first Thursday of May as the official day of observance. It has been approved by every President since.

Based upon the language used to announce the day as well as a designated Scripture reference from the Gospels of the New Testament it appears to be a Christian day of prayer even though there are many other religious beliefs in the US. It is my personal opinion that if we truly want “peace and unity” for America the NDP should include all faith traditions. 

Pray for America

On May 3, I attended a National Day of Prayer in Louisville, KY. My experience was one of peace and unity. Those who spoke represented the Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Native American and Bahai faiths. 

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Mark Your Calendar

The NDP for 2019 is May 2. In Kentucky keep in touch with the Interfaith Paths to Peace https://paths2peace.org for information about where there will be a celebration of America’s diverse faiths as we pray together for our nation. I am sure there are similar plans in most American cities. 

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”  John F. Kennedy