An Intense But Sweet, Meaningful Visit


In late 2018, as Gidon and I were hard at work on his book, we had a very special visitor. Hannah is from Germany and she came to Israel on her own and was backpacking around. She met a mutual friend of ours in Jerusalem (Israel is a small country!) and got our information. She wanted to meet Gidon. Hannah told us that her grandfather was a Nazi and that her grandmother had been very proud of him and displayed his picture in their family home, something that Hannah felt very uncomfortable about. When she got older, she decided to come to Israel and see Israel for herself. Hannah told us some encouraging things, about how when she was younger that she and her classmates had been taught a lot about the Holocaust, and that they were inculcated with a sense of responsibility and shame. But she also told us some pretty discouraging things, about the antisemitism that is on the rise in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Hannah is serious and soft-spoken but she looked up Gidon and got herself to our home, taking several busses and going completely out of her way. It was that important to her to meet Gidon. She had very many questions about Gidon's experience in the Holocaust and did not shy away from asking the hard questions. Gidon and I were both very touched by her visit and hope that she comes to see us again one day.

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