The case for Kurt Tucholsky.
Why is the greatest comic author of the Weimar Republic unknown to the English-speaking world? Weimar Germany is part and parcel of any highbrow’s cultural literacy—consider the Expressionist cinema of Fritz Lang, the Bauhaus architecture of Walter Gropius, the self-conscious theater of Bertolt Brecht. Indeed, the world of pre-Nazi Germany still haunts and enthralls, to judge by the success of the current revival of Cabaret on Broadway and the popularity of Alan Furst’s historical spy novels. But the intellectual who personally embodies Cabaret remains obscure. He was Kurt Tucholsky, a brilliant Jewish satirist who wrote songs for Berlin revues, ridiculed the Nazis by name, and found refuge in Sweden only to take his own life in 1935.
The easy answer is that Tucholsky was never translated, and for understandable reasons. Hundreds of Weimar refugees fled Hitler to come to America—Lang, Gropius, and Brecht among them—adapting its progressive culture to the tastes of New York and Hollywood. But Tucholsky never came east, and the niche he occupied did not even exist in America: the feuilleton, that section of European newspapers reserved for cultural criticism, social observation, opinion pieces, book and theater reviews, and personal reflections. Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig wrote well-crafted novels that are extraordinarily readable in translation. But Tucholsky was a writer of cynical ephemera, often in untranslatable Berlin dialect. He proved to be a local wine that did not travel.
This has now changed. Berlinica, a small publishing house in Berlin and New York, has belatedly brought out the first translations of Tucholsky into English: Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers,1 a romantic novella published when he was 21, and Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic, an anthology of some 50 essays and poems.2 Together they give American readers an opportunity to see why Tucholsky is better known today in Germany than Gropius and Lang—so well-known, in fact, that Germany’s Supreme Court was forced to rule on the legal propriety of his writing six decades after his death.
Tucholsky was a born feuilletonist—by definition, a writer who is not a specialist but has knowledge and sympathy for the full range of human activities. He had intimate personal knowledge of four distinct worlds—law, banking, theater, and war—knew from the inside the argot and code of conduct of each. Born in 1890 to a family of Jewish bankers, he was groomed for the law. But writing was in his blood. He published his first satirical piece, a lampoon of the Kaiser, at the age of 17. As a law student, he frequented Berlin cabarets, at first as a customer and then as a seller of satirical songs. He made a pilgrimage to Prague in 1911, seeking out Franz Kafka, on whom he made a lively impression. Kafka described Tucholsky in his notebook as “an individual of 21 and all of a piece—from the strong and measured swing of his walking stick, which gives a youthful lift to his shoulders, to his studied delight in and disregard for his own writing efforts. Wants to be a defense lawyer.”
He was at work then on Rheinsberg, which describes the romantic weekend outing of a pair of young lovers (racy at the time because they are unmarried). Their repartee shows the distinctive brusque wheedling humor of the Berlin dialect, which Tucholsky used to comic effect throughout his life. He continued to dabble in both law and literature right up to the start of World War I, by which time he had the strange distinction of having published both romantic fiction and a dissertation on mortgages.
Tucholsky saw action across the whole breadth of the Eastern front, from Latvia to Romania. He had already expressed anti-militarist views in his writing and put them into practice. Given a gun, he promptly leaned it against a hut and abandoned it; he was never given another. The war confirmed him in his pacifism, his lifelong cause. Afterward, he turned to writing full time, working to advance the pacifist cause by means of satire rather than political action.
He found his literary home in the Weltbühne (“World Stage”), a theatrical weekly that had become an influential voice of political and cultural criticism. Tucholsky was a furiously prolific contributor, so much so that he gave himself four pseudonyms so he would not seem to dominate its pages. As Peter Panter, he wrote literary criticism; as Theobald Tiger, humorous verse; as Ignaz Wrobel, political and social commentary. His freest persona was Kaspar Hauser, who wrote fiction, including the monologues of a certain Mr. Wendriner, a vulgar and foolish Jewish businessman who forlornly tries to accommodate himself to a changing Germany.
Each of these alter egos is represented in Berlin! Berlin!, whose translator does a commendable job of finding an English voice for each. Tucholsky had an exceptionally lively ear, and malapropisms, fashionable slang, and catchphrases all affected him deeply, at an almost visceral level. A single neologism, such as the use of “one hundred percent” as an adjective (an American import), might cause acute distress and provoke an indignant essay. All in all, he brought to the spoken language of Berlin the bemused and appreciative detachment that one normally finds in an outsider.
Tucholsky liked to express himself through aphorisms, a habit he shared with G.K. Chesterton, a writer he deeply admired. Whenever possible he gave the last word of a phrase an unexpected twist, something for which the German language, which is much freer with word order than English, is peculiarly suited. At times his essays are little more than a long run of aphorisms strung together, as in his oft-quoted “Der Mensch,” his deadpan definition of mankind:
Man has two legs and two convictions, one when things are going well and one when they are going badly. The latter is called religion.
Man is a vertebrate and has an immortal soul. He also has a Fatherland so that he doesn’t get too cocky…
Man is a useful biological being, because his death on the battlefield can serve to drive the value of petroleum stocks through the roof, because his death underground can serve to increase the profits of the mine bosses; there is also culture, art, and science.
The irony is characteristic but even more so the bitterness, which is the first memorable quality his work possesses. There is scarcely any other figure in English literature with quite the same degree of acid corrosiveness. One has the sense that all our little disappointments—in love, in business, in politics—are but manifestations of the collective disappointment that is life itself. One of his most haunting poems, “Ideal and Reality,” presents a mounting cascade of dreams—for a desirable lover, for an ideal tobacco pipe, for a democratic German republic—each verse ending with a letdown and the same mordant refrain: “One always wants a tall thin one/ and then gets a short fat one/ C’est la vie!”
As with many quotable aphorists, Tucholsky’s lines are sometimes put in the mouths of more famous people. In a 1925 review of a collection of contemporary French humor, he told a joke about a diplomat from the Quai d’Orsay speaking about the horrors of war: “War? I cannot find that so terrible. The death of a man: That is a catastrophe. One hundred thousand dead: That is a statistic.” Today the line is invariably attributed to Stalin, which would surely have appealed to Tucholsky’s cynicism.
His most notorious aphorism is so volatile that for decades it was a crime to utter it in public. In 1931, Tucholsky wrote about the paradox of the rear line in warfare, something he observed while serving as a military policeman. He noted that the line was guarded just as fiercely as the front line: While civilians could not cross to approach the scene of combat, soldiers could not cross to leave the scene of combat. In typical fashion, he rendered this aphoristically:
For four years there were whole square miles of countryside where murder was compulsory, while half an hour away, it was just as strictly forbidden. Did I say murder? Naturally murder. Soldiers are murderers.
Tucholsky had expressed variants of this thought throughout his life, but never in such lapidary fashion. The phrase Soldaten sind Mörder became the rallying cry for German pacifists—who would regularly repeat it, and just as regularly be arrested and prosecuted. Not until 1995 did the German Supreme Court allow that the term could be used as a platitude. Germans still refer to it in shorthand fashion as “the Tucholsky sentence.” (Regrettably, for reasons that will become clear, this most famous of his essays is not included in Berlin! Berlin!)
Given his background, social and cultural, one would expect Tucholsky to have become a Communist and remained a Jew. He did neither. He left the Jewish community as soon as he turned 21, and shortly after World War I he was baptized a Lutheran. He seems to have done so without any religious conviction whatsoever. In his hundreds of thousands of words of journalism, there does not seem to be a single positive comment about religion. Nor does it appear that he did it for reasons of preferment or marriage; in the same year, he married the Jewish doctor Else Weil. (In this respect he resembles the poet Heinrich Heine, another freethinker who insisted he was merely baptized, not converted.)
It was not Tucholsky’s baptism that has led some to charge him with Jew-hatred—Gershom Scholem, the great historian, pronounced him “the most talented and most repellent of Jewish anti-Semites”—but rather his acerbic criticism of bourgeois Jewish society. Most notorious is his Mr. Wendriner character, whose clumsy attempts to avoid offending Nazi storm troopers at a theater come across today as desperately unfunny: “Oh, wait, there’s the [Horst] Wessel song. Stand up. What else are ya gonna do—go along with it…the English sing their national anthem after the theater, too.”
Tucholsky’s craving for intellectual autonomy also seems to have kept him aloof from any formal affiliation with Communism. He liked to compare it to Catholicism as another theology that “raised the consciousness of its followers only in order to restrict it.” It was not Communist oppression that troubled him so much as its intellectual dishonesty, and the requirement that writers subordinate themselves to party discipline. It is characteristic that he expressed extreme indignation when he found a history of the Red Army that did not mention Leon Trotsky, who created that army. His remarkably prescient essay on the subject appeared in May 1928—the first, I believe, to call attention to Stalin’s habit of airbrushing history at will.
Tucholsky’s feisty and impulsive personal style made him a poor team player. When the founder of the Weltbühne died in late 1926, Tucholsky became editor in chief for four unhappy months. With relief he resigned in favor of the fearless Karl von Ossietzky, who would pay dearly for the position. It was Ossietzky who published Tucholsky’s “soldiers are murderers” line, which was taken to be criminal slander. As it happened, Tucholsky was by then living in Sweden and was out of reach of the German criminal system. Instead, charges were brought against Ossietzky. To the end of his life, Tucholsky regarded his failure to return to Germany in solidarity with Ossietzky as an act of cowardice.
Tucholsky had legitimate reason to fear Nazi violence. He had just published a poem about Goebbels, whom he ridiculed for his physical deformity and short stature, a poem scurrilous even by Tucholsky’s standard: “With your clubfoot…/Josef, you’re a tiny man/Somehow you’ve come up short.”
Once the Nazis came to power, Goebbels had Tucholsky stripped of his citizenship, a purely symbolic gesture at that point since Tucholsky had effectively done so by going into self-imposed exile. He told his friends that he had given up on Germany, had stopped reading German newspapers, and was working to master Swedish so that he no longer even needed to speak German. But this linguistic isolation proved fatal to a humorist who depended on wordplay. Over the course of 1932, the well began to run dry and his stream of witty feuilletons trickled to nothing. He continued to write trenchant political commentary in letters to his friends, but his formal writing stopped. Germany’s great ironist would not publish a single word after Hitler achieved power, a historical calamity too big for irony.
His last act was to lobby behind the scenes to see that Ossietzky won the Nobel Peace Prize—successfully, as it happened, although he would not live to see it. Tucholsky succumbed to an overdose of barbiturates in December 1935. In the following years, many of his friends and family would perish at the hands of the Nazis, including Ossietzky, Tucholsky’s mother, and his first wife. He had divorced his second, who was not Jewish, in order that the Nazis would spare her. By this point, the Nazis were the only ones who seemed to remember him, finding him a useful symbol. They burned his books publicly and featured him in the propaganda film The Wandering Jew (1940). As the camera pans over his photograph, the narrator identifies him as “the Jew Tucholsky, one of the most wicked of literary pornographers.”
With thousands of writings to choose from, the editors of Berlin! Berlin! chose to limit themselves to pieces explicitly relating to the city. Doing so lends the anthology nominal unity, but it also removes much of what is most interesting and distinctive about Tucholsky. His incendiary political commentary is scanted. Much of the finest poetry—perhaps his most enduring legacy—also goes missing. But the worst omission is the criticism.
As a critic, Tucholsky was insatiable, compulsively reviewing anything that even flickered in his peripheral vision—John Dos Passos, Sigmund Freud, the songs of Sophie Tucker, the photographs of August Sander, even The Kid, the first feature-length film by Charlie Chaplin, whom he called “the finest mind among living directors.” Like the essays, his reviews bristle with aphorisms. After reading James Joyce’s Ulysses in German, he is not sure whether to blame the author or the German translator: “Either a murder has been committed or a corpse has been photographed.” In trying to capture the sensational nature of modern celebrity, he makes a subtle distinction: “Douglas Fairbanks is not more famous than Homer, just more familiar.” He wondered why the German cabaret could produce male singers who were endlessly unctuous and schmaltzy but not that staple of American cabaret, the “man who was simply nice.”
Tucholsky’s literary taste tended toward naturalism, and he keenly followed its English and American practitioners. But naturalism by itself was not enough; he scorned writers who used language inelegantly, such as Theodore Dreiser in An American Tragedy. He also thought Lady Chatterley’s Lover overrated, since its reputation depended largely on the violation of taboos that had long since been toppled in Germany and France. But where an unaffected naturalism combined with graceful intelligent prose, he was uninhibited in his praise. Such was the case with Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt, which he called “the most contemporary of contemporary novels.”
Babbitt brought out Tucholsky’s most interesting critical trait: His endless fascination with business. He recognized that the modern world was more than anything else the creation of the businessman. Across the world, he noted, the towers of office buildings were higher than the churches. The rise of capitalism was the central event of the age, yet literature and drama had little to say about it. They showed how businessmen spent their money but not how they earned it. Tucholsky, by contrast, knew a great deal about that. For him, the stratagems and gambits of the businessman were the stuff of high drama, and no less creative or heroic than that of an artist. But of this there is little hint in Berlin! Berlin!
When it comes to the seamy side of 1920s Berlin, there is no better guide than Tucholsky, who wrote knowingly about its cabarets and cinemas, gambling dens, and prostitutes, as only a habitué can. But this is to make of him a mere Ashcan School journalist—and he was much more. Tucholsky’s intense curiosity about Berlin is so rewarding because of his curiosity about the world entire. He saw how the curiously expectant and anxious culture of Weimar Germany, at once cosmopolitan and insular, was keenly attuned to the modernizing forces of the contemporary world—how mass communication brought about a certain standardization of life, how new technologies can revise codes of conduct and morality, how language itself is unconsciously transformed by advertising. These forces are still with us, in one form or another, which is why this strange, difficult, bitter, self-destructive, and often deeply questionable writer nonetheless remains an essential one.
1 Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers, translated by Cindy Opitz, Berlinica, 96 pp.
2 Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic, translated by Cindy Opitz, Berlinica, 198 pp.
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The Bitter Bard of Weimar
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Not a departure but a partial return to the norm.
President Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday stuck to the core themes that have defined his foreign policy since he took office. The ideological cocktail was two or three parts John Bolton, one part Steve Bannon. From his national-security adviser, Trump absorbs the traditional GOP hawkishness and sovereigntism that forms the cocktail’s base. Meanwhile, distinct traces remain of the ex-Breitbart chief’s harder-edged populist nationalism. Call that the modifier.
The main elements of the cocktail blend smoothly in some areas but not in others. Boltonians are wary of liberal, transnational institutions that seek to restrain U.S. power, and they aren’t shy about sidestepping or blowing past those institutions when national interest demand it. Bannonites detest the transnationalist dream even more intensely, though their hatred extends to mutual defense treaties and trade agreements that GOP foreign policy has historically welcomed.
Both camps, moreover, claim to have shed the illusions that they think got Washington into trouble after 9/11. They don’t believe that all of human history tends toward liberal democracy. “We are this,” they say to non-Western civilizations, “and you are that. You needn’t become like us, but don’t try to remake us in your image, either.” The Boltonians might pay some lip service to Reaganite ideals here and there, but as Bolton famously wrote in these pages: “Praise democracy, pass the ammunition.”
That’s where the similarities end. The Bannonites don’t share the Boltonian threat assessment: Vladimir Putin’s encroachments into Eastern Europe don’t exercise them, and they positively welcome Bashar Assad’s role in Syria. Boltonism favors expansion, Bannonism prefers retrenchment, if not isolation. Boltonism in its various iterations is the default worldview of the key national-security principals; not just Bolton himself but also the likes of Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo. Bannonism is where I suspect the president’s own instincts lie.
It is hard to assess fully how these tensions are playing out in American foreign policy in the age of Trump. But one intellectual temptation to guard against is the tendency to view every move and every piece of rhetoric as a crazy Trumpian violation of the Eternal and Immutable Laws of American Strategy. In the main, Trump’s foreign policy appears alarming and discontinuous only to those who forget how far Barack Obama departed from mainstream, bipartisan foreign-policy traditions.
Bashing or withdrawing from UNESCO and the Human Rights Council because anti-Semitic, anti-Western “jackals” have taken these bodies hostage? That’s straight out of the Reagan-Bush-Daniel Patrick Moynihan playbook.
Ditto for rejecting the universal jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court because it would mean ceding American sovereignty to “an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy,” as Trump put it Tuesday. Successive American administrations, including President Bill Clinton’s at various points, have opposed the creation of a world court that could be used by the “jackals” and their transnationalist allies to legally harass U.S. policymakers and soldiers alike.
Nor was there anything uniquely Trumpian, or uniquely sinister, about the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Legislation enacted by Congress more than two decades ago had required the State Department to recognize Jerusalem and move the American Embassy, and as the president noted in his speech, peace is “is advanced, not harmed, by acknowledging the obvious facts.” The move also reinforces the sovereigntist idea that a nation’s decision about the location of its embassy is not open to scrutiny by foreign busybodies.
Nor, finally, does praising imperfect but valuable allies somehow take Trump beyond the pale of respectable American policy. Trump’s support for Riyadh, Warsaw, and Jerusalem is a course correction. For years under Obama, Washington neglected these powers in favor of the likes of Tehran.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t some wild elements to Trump’s foreign policy. For those who came of age in the shadow of certain postwar certainties, it will never be easy to hear the commander in chief threaten tariffs against various rivals and partners from the podium at Turtle Bay. And if Obama disrespected allies with his policies, Trump does so with his rhetorical outbursts against allied leaders, especially in Western Europe, and his bizarre refusal to directly criticize Vladimir Putin.
That’s that irrepressible Bannonite modifier in the cocktail, though the color and flavoring are all Trump’s own.
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A blow for sanity.
At some point earlier this year, America’s sources inside the Kremlin went dark. U.S. officials who spoke to the New York Times about their dangerous new blindness said they didn’t believe that their formerly reliable sources had been neutralized. Instead, their spies went into hiding amid a newly aggressive counter-espionage campaign from Moscow. The Times sources offered a variety of theories to explain what could have spooked their assets, but the most disturbing among them was the fact that the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee had exposed a Kremlin-connected FBI and CIA source as part of a campaign of unprecedented disclosures regarding America’s intelligence gathering process.
The disclosure that compromised a U.S. informant is only one in a seemingly endless cascade of classified information that Republicans claim must be revealed to the public if we are ever going to get to the bottom of the sprawling conspiracy that was put together to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. The president’s allies in Congress have appealed to previously unused methods to reveal confidential House Intelligence Committee memos and even highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, but none of it has satisfied Donald Trump or his defenders. There is always another document to release.
Last week, President Trump publicly ordered his Justice Department to declassify the redacted portions of a FISA warrant targeting Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, related FBI interviews, and text message sent by former FBI Director James Comey. These documents were supposedly related to the special counsel’s investigation into his campaign, even though he confessed that he had “not reviewed them.” Of the investigation, the president said, “This is a witch hunt.” The move satisfied many in Congress who insist that the president’s own Justice Department is persecuting him, but Trump confessed that he had ordered the declassification at the behest of his ardent supporters in conservative media such as Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro.
Trump’s order triggered a brief review of the most sensitive aspects of the intelligence he was prepared to declassify, and it seems that this information was sensitive enough that Trump’s advisers were able to convince him of the need to reverse course. And so, he did. On Friday, Trump announced that he would not allow the release of documents that “could have a negative impact on the Russia probe” and would jeopardize American relations with its key allies. And though he reserved the right to disclose these documents in the future, they would not be forthcoming anytime soon.
Trump’s allies in Congress were crestfallen. Three members told Fox News Channel’s Catherine Herridge that they were “blindsided” and “demoralized” by Trump’s about-face, but the president made a sober and rational decision. Not only has the withholding of these documents avoided the appearance of interference with Robert Mueller’s probe, but the president has also preserved America’s intelligence-sharing relationship with what he described as “two very good allies” that objected to the declassification.
Trump’s defenders in Congress who are inclined to flog the “deep-state” conspiracy theory should not be so disconsolate. According to ABC News’ sources, the documents Trump was prepared to disclose—just like documents before them—contained no smoking gun. Their sources insist that the documents and communications at issue would not have confirmed the suspicion among some observers that the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign was based on the intelligence provided by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. Instead, they would have confirmed that the investigation into Trump’s campaign began well before the FBI’s receipt of the “Steele dossier.” And when these disclosures failed to satisfy those who are most invested in nursing Trump’s persecution complex, there would be demands for more declassifications and more disclosures.
Conservatives with a healthy mistrust of federal agencies and the prevailing political culture within them may scoff at skeptics who are not eager to see U.S. intelligence documents sloppily released to the public. There are, after all, valid questions about the FISA Court’s oversight and the extent to which Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights are protected in counter-intelligence investigations that long predate Carter Page’s travails. But the interagency process and the oversight of appropriate redactions are designed to protect American intelligence assets and the assets of U.S. allies. It is all intended to preserve the integrity of U.S. sources and the methods they use to keep Americans safe.
If the Democratic Party was demanding these unprecedented disclosures with no regard for the geopolitical fallout and national-security risks they could incur, Republicans, you could be certain, would be raising hell. And they would be absolutely right to do so.
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RIP Paulina Płaksej.
It’s only Monday evening, which means Americans face another full week of political and cultural squalor. For an antidote, consider Paulina Płaksej, who died Sunday, aged 93. Our former COMMENTARY colleague Daniella Greenbaum broke news of Płaksej’s death on Twitter, which alerted me (and many others) to her inspiring life and that of her family, Polish Catholics who fed, hid, and rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
Zachariasz and Bronisława Płaksej, Paulina’s parents, moved from Lviv, Ukraine, to Kałusz before the outbreak of the war. There, Zachariasz worked as an accountant at a local mine and developed warm relations with the area’s Jews. Toward the end of 1941, when the Nazis forced the Jews of Kałusz into a newly created ghetto with an eye toward their extermination, Zachariasz and his family “acted as couriers, smuggling notes in and out of the ghetto,” according to the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Soon, assisting persecuted Jews became the family’s main business.
It helped that they resided on the outskirts of town. As Paulina later recounted, “we lived in seclusion and not in the center of the town, so it was very convenient for us. We were surrounded by gardens, orchards, the river was flowing nearby, and there was a slaughterhouse not far away. The Germans rarely visited this place, so our life was peaceful…” Even before the creation of the ghetto, Jewish children would stop by the Płaksej home for a bowl of hot soup and a brief respite from the cruelty of daily life under occupation.
Her father, Paulina recalled, “was a very religious person, and he believed that you should always help a man, your fellow creature, as our religion has it. The Jewish victim was not simply a Jew, but your fellow, a human being, wasn’t he?”
The Płaksejs took extraordinary risks to that end, creating an underground pipeline from the Kałusz ghetto to safety for Jews targeted for liquidation:
The first family to escape [the ghetto] was Sara, Solomon, and their son, Imek. They temporarily hid at Paulina’s house. When it became too dangerous for them to stay there, Zacharias found a safer place for them to hide. He brought Sara, Solomon, and Imek to a trusted friend who was already hiding Jews in a bunker beneath his barn. Later, another Jewish woman, Rozia, escaped from the ghetto and sought out the Plaksej family. They also brought her to the farmer’s bunker. Paulina regularly brought whatever food and supplies were needed. Sara, Solomon, Imek, and Rozia, along with thirteen other Jews, stayed in this bunker for over a year. To this day, the identity of the farmer is not known.
In 1944 Miriam, another inhabitant of the ghetto, learned that the Germans planned to liquidate the ghetto and deport or murder the inhabitants. Miriam asked Zacharias to save her two-year-old daughter, Maja. Zacharias contacted Miriam’s former maid and arranged for her to come rescue Maja. The maid brought a horse and cart, and the Jewish police helped smuggle the little girl out of the ghetto. The maid told her neighbors that this little girl was her daughter who had just returned from living with her grandparents.
Miriam was in one of the last groups of Jews to be deported to Auschwitz. As her group was marched to the train, Miriam quickly took off her armband and joined the crowds in the street. She went straight to the Plaksej house asking for help. They hid her in their wardrobe for a number of months. Zacharias obtained forged papers for her and took her to another village where she would not be recognized as a Jew. There she was picked up as a Pole and sent to a German farm as a forced laborer. After the war, she returned to the maid’s house, picked up her daughter, and reunited with her husband. Due to the efforts of Paulina and her family, all of the Jews they helped survived the war.
The State of Israel in 1987 recognized Paulina and her parents as Righteous Among the Nations. May we never forget these stories, and may we all strive to follow in their footsteps, even and especially amid our contemporary squalor.
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Podcast: Kavanaugh and Rosenstein.
Can you take what we say about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh seriously considering we’re conservatives and he’s a conservative? Are we defending him because we are genuinely discomfited by how insubstantial the allegations against him are, or are we doing so because we agree with him ideologically? We explore this on today’s podcast. Give a listen.