Empathy is the opposite of prejudice, persecution, and oppression.This is why I'm writing the epic story of my great uncle Stefan’s survival across the forests of WWII Eastern Europe.
This blog is the "story behind the story" of one man and his life before, during, and after WWII, a survivor of Eastern Europe during some of its darkest days. I write this blog in parallel as I write the story of my great uncle Stefan, who withstood forced labor, torture, an 18-year sentence for … Continue reading Kinds of Blue: Searching the Past for Clues to Our Uncertain Future
JUNE 15, 2017: As the nation investigates an elaborate corruption that has ties to its highest offices, the term testimony has been broadcast far and wide—in print, over wires and airwaves, and in countless individual conversations. A testimony is a story in one's own words, a formal telling of one's experience, a public account of an … Continue reading High Crimes and Atrocities: Testimony
Shifting Borders When I read about the history of Eastern Europe, I realize how changeable national boundaries and concepts of nation are. I live in a very young country, America, which nevertheless has been highly successful in forming a self-concept that seems essential and timeless. Its sense of surety likely is rooted in the concept … Continue reading “I Am,” I Said: Thoughts on Borders and Refugees
A Temporary Peace My grandmother was an immigrant from Eastern Europe. She was born in 1910 in the town of Svalava, which was part of the Kingdom of Hungary at the time but joined Czechoslovakia in 1920 by decree of the Treaty of Trianon, which ended WWI. Now, the town, with no remaining Jewish population, … Continue reading Any Other Name
In the region of Transylvania, in Eastern Europe, so many structures are painted one particular shade of blue that it is widely known as Transylvania blue. My family, particularly my grandmother, her siblings, and her predecessors, come from areas within and neighboring what we know as Transylvania.