All I know about the holocaust I began to learn from my father in prison. The event is an abstraction until it is given a face. As you know Adolf was eight years old on the night of the breaking glass. These are my fathers eight year old’s eye witness recollections in prison:
“Your Uncle Josh ran through the streets shouting “Hitler go to hell.”
Zady was arrested.
I remember Hitler youth grabbing elderly Jews by their heels, and hurling them against the wall. Their heads smashed open like melons. I can still hear the sound.
Buby hid Josh and I under the bed. I snuck out on the night of the broken glass and watched her burn all the foreign currency in the wood burning stove.
Buby took us to the Synagogue in Karlshrue. When we arrived it was burning.
We were secreted into France and your namesake Laurence Maurice (Moshe) saved us. He was deported to Majdanek. Presumed dead in the camp.
Next we were in Basel with Buby Leah’s family, the Gudermanns. They had a leather business and hid us in their factory, Neighbors who saw us told the Gestapo and we were arrested. We were ransomed. It was a fortune but the family saved us.
We were supposed to go to Israel but instead came to America. Buby’s sister lived in North Adams where her husband was the Rabbi.
We arrived in North Adams the late spring of 1939.”
This was my father’s story.
I do not remember why this narrative was so long in the telling. Father was reading Books One and Two of the Final Age Testament and he would disappear for hours at a time.
I do not know how much time he spent on the question of Abrahams silence as told in the Chapter Isaac’s story. I am not sure he read my radical rewrite of Genesis Twenty Two called A Second Time from The Heavens in Book Two of the Final Age Testament.
At the time, as I mentioned, I was doing post graduate family therapy training with a number of therapists from Saratoga. Our training was in Amherst Massachusetts. Each of us was required to present a family history and evaluation.
I learned that my goal as a therapist was to be able to discard old beliefs for new, a natural for me since this was the essence of my creative life. I also learned that the final test o men tor would need to be secure within and not to be reactive to criticism. I was not to be dogmatic or angry with my congregation. I learned that Freud and his Id and Ego were writing fiction and that a science of psychology would not begin to appear until about the year 2050, one hundred years after my birth. I was expected to learn not to be overly responsible for others. I was to maintain a non-anxious presence in my life.
All this while Rushdie was being hunted down for his satanic verses! And my work is a much more direct assault.