Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Just the Facts Book Discussion - October 18, 2018

  It seems that we moved from a hot, rainy summer to a cool, rainy fall and then directly into an early taste of winter.  What gives?  Many thanks to the eight people who bundled up to attend the book discussion.  Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

    Our book last night was Soldiers and Sons:  the untold story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and returned with the U, S, Army to fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson.  Upon the rise of Hitler and Nazism in the 1930s, most Jewish families in Germany realized what the future held and were desperate to escape.  The lack of visas and countries that would allow them in kept this from happening.  Had they been able to leave, they would have had to do so without their money or property, leaving them destitute in a strange country.  Many families devised an alternative plan to send their eldest sons out, regardless of the cost.  Most of these boys were in their middle teens and were sent to relatives in the United States whom they had never met.  Imagine these children, sent from their homes to a strange country and to relatives that were virtual strangers.  They did not speak English and didn’t know when, if ever, they would see their families again or even if their families would survive the coming conflagration.  Once here, they learned English, went to school, worked and, when the war began, volunteered to fight.  Being fluent in German, their services were needed and most were assigned to intelligence forces to assist in the interrogation of captured German soldiers and translation of captured documents.  The book is both heartbreaking and inspiring.  Our conversation covered the experiences of friends and relatives who had relatives who had survived or escaped the Holocaust.  Or not.  It was a bittersweet evening.

    Our next meeting will be on November 15th, 2018.  The book to be discussed, Showdown:  Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court nomination that changed America by Wil Haygood, is available at the Circulation Desk.  All are welcome.  Happy Halloween!

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