A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
A World War II Veteran
I am 90 years old. I have lived through much. My parents were immigrants from post-World War I Europe. Following the Crash of 1929 we were very poor. Our country was awash in poverty, and anti-Semitism was widespread. When I was about ten years old, my father, who had been a front line combat infantry officer in the Austro-Hungarian army told me, “If anyone asks, you tell them you are a Jew, and you are proud of it.”
In 1943 I volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps and was accepted as an air cadet. Only 18 years old, I understood what war meant and felt I might not survive.
Today I live and welcome each day but today I am not proud to be a Jew. I also am not proud to be…
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