Thursday's Child Has Far to Go, by Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur is well-known to readers of COMMENTARY as one of the most talented and readable historians of our time. In addition to more than a dozen major works of scholarship on European, Russian, and Middle East politics, he has also tried his hand at a novel (The Missing Years) and now, in Thursday’s Child Has Far to Go, autobiography.
Laqueur was born in Breslau in 1921 of not very well-to-do parents who formed part of a close-knit clan which had lived in eastern Germany for decades. His childhood was unexceptional until well after 1933—school, reading, hikes, youth groups. By 1936, however, it was becoming obvious that Jews had no future in Germany, and as conditions worsened young Laqueur found himself drawn into circles which pushed him toward emigration to Palestine, then under British Mandate. While en route across the Mediterranean to his new home, he heard via ship’s radio a vague report of what he later learned was the roundup of some 30,000 German Jews for Buchenwald and other concentration camps. But for his timely departure, Laqueur might well have been one of them.
About the Author
Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.