In Memoriam: Lucy S. Dawidowicz
“Being an American was itself enough to give anyone a bushelful of courage.”
Thus, the late historian Lucy S. Dawidowicz (whose name is enduringly associated with this magazine) contemplating at a remove of five decades the inner impulse which in 1938 had led her, a girl of twenty-three, on a year’s flight out from the freedom and safety of America into the heart of East European Jewry, a human civilization already then being readied for the rack and soon by human will to be smashed from the earth, obliterated in blood and soot. To be a young American in those days was to feel sheltered, impervious, consequently full of defiance and bravado. In this condition there was, as she would later acknowledge, much danger, the danger of falling victim to the very dangers (societal evil, frenzy, corruption) of which Americans in their impetuousness tended to be dismissive, or simply ignorant; but there was true, heavenly favor as well, and purity and fortune and strength, energetic gifts out of the political and social constitution of the United States which in her later adult life Mrs. Dawidowicz would never forget, or fail to act upon in gratitude.
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