Stories tagged memoir

Catechism for Good Little Jewish Girls

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“Just because I am not Jewish doesn’t mean I haven’t suffered,” she said. But she walked to the root cellar to get the girl.

Rin-Tin-Tin, Sleeping Beauty, and the Guardian Angels of Childhood

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So I needed something more than just the prayers. Something a little extra, and very American, because America was an ocean away from the evil followers of that bad man Hitler.

Catechism for Good Little Jewish Girls

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"Just because I am not Jewish doesn't mean I haven't suffered," she said.

Allergies

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And there were the petroleum processing plants on the edge of town, along the New Jersey Turnpike. Sometimes, on summer nights, the air was so heavy with stench it hurt my throat to breathe.

Steam

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It is four A.M. Why are we cooking? Because farm work, housework, cooking, commuting to factory work take place round the clock to keep the tiny farm going, the farm that replaced the lives lost Over There.

The Diary of Anne Frank's Daughter 3. Suffering Contests

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Fears of instantaneous death might have seized Anne Frank's daughter since she was little, just like they did me, especially in bathrooms, because they reminded us of gas chambers, you know, the whole shower thing, the worry that gas might come out instea

The Diary of Anne Frank's Daughter 4. Psychotherapy, God and Me

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The therapist started to seem increasingly far away, his head a tiny potato head, across the ignorant universe of his dustless desk that seemed to get bigger and bigger as the session progressed, like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

The Diary of Anne Frank's Daughter 5. Arbeit Macht Frei

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“If I didn’t keep busy I’d go crazy,” said my father repeatedly. “The problem with you is that you think too much.” I much later learned that this was Primo Levi’s secret to surviving the camps: “Don’t think.”

The Diary of Anne Frank's Daughter 6. The Tortured Nazi

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It's like all my fears and desire for revenge get funneled into this tortured Nazi soldier so I can get some sleep. I always fall asleep before he dies.

Rain

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he would start slapping my bare rear end exposed by wearing shorts with his open hand, harder and harder, ten, twenty, thirty times, saying "You think this is funny? I'll show you funny. You still think this is funny?" until I was screaming and sobbing.

Saratoga Rhapsody

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“Time roars with our longing for home” (Nelly Sachs, poet and Holocaust survivor)

"Muselmann"

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"You think too much," my father would say when I got depressed at sixteen, the same age my mother had been in Auschwitz. "That's your problem. You have to keep busy.

Saratoga Rhapsody 3. Dreams of Spas

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“He was killed by the Nazis,” she often said, at other times claiming, “I don’t know what happened to him,” or “He ran off to Austria,” or “He just disappeared.”

Saratoga Rhapsody 4. Grief

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To my mother, who yearned for own mother, Magda was a constant irritant. With Magda absent, my mind drifted to Saratoga. But my mother’s reveries carried her to her pre-war life with her own mother.

Saratoga Rhapsody 5. Chickens and Eggs

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The farm, teaming with life, seemed empty without Magda’s riveting of our attention into the present moment with one hysterical overreaction in melodious Hungarian after another.