Sarah’s Key

Many people nowadays, including Slovakian  relatives and   a close American  friend, are discovering that they are Jewish.

Sarah’s Key, a movie that  traces the life of a girl  who survived the Holocaust in France,  explores this theme too.  It was so graphic that I wondered if I, who have done extensive Holocaust research connected with my book, Between Galicia and Hungary: The Jews of Stropkov, will ever see any more Holocaust films.

If I have learned anything, it’s this:
The more you learn about the Holocaust the worse it is.
What you thought was unimaginably bad is only a preliminary for what comes next.
Six million Jews?  Six million individual Holocausts. Plus the Holocausts of those who survived– like (fictional)  Sarah.

Unlike Jews in the US,  the Holocaust touches those of us  in Israel  personally — everyday. We have  annual Holocaust Day when schools “adopt” certain destroyed communities,  many of us send our teenagers to explore Majdanek and Auschwitz…

My great-grandfather, Yossl Amsel from Stropkov, is often on my mind.  When my son  became a soldier, I thought, had he known,  how amazed and proud he would have been.  What would have tickled him more– a great-great grandson in the Israeli army or the State of Israel itself?

Yossl  was a farmer. Now that this great-great grandson  is an agronomist, I think  he  would have been beside himself with nachas.

I don’t need to see any more Holocaust movies. Enough.

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