Page 125 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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117
Abuse oftheHolocaust
husband tells her:
“Don’t be such a sensitive Jew. Holocausts are common human dramas and
someone has to play the part o f the victim. The Jewish thing is just history
now.” Existentially he was right, and still despite my reasonableness, my natu­
ral control, I felt a special anguish as I walked down Maximillianstrasse, where
the trucks had been loaded with waitingJews___But on whom and how should
I take vengeance. . . . (pp. 122-123).
But such moments of inner conflict are eased, apparently, when
at
Fasching,
a costume ball which strikes her as “a mixture of Hal­
loween and Purim,”Marjorie meets Gerhart Keller. Gerhart, “an
Aryan of Aryans,” had been in the Hitler Youth and at seventeen
was made an officer, but “late at night” he would be moved to tell
“how Germany had destroyed its finest talent by ridding itself of
Jews.” Moved to her very core, Mrajorie finds solace for her dis­
turbed spirit in this “Aryan ofAryans”who expresses some unhap­
piness at what the Nazis did. She takes the young German to bed
with her—her first infidelity—and finds that her discovery of a
German with some sense of guilt is sufficient to overcome the spir­
itual ravages the Holocaust has inflicted on her. She returns to her
well-to-do family, rids herself ofJim Morrison and gives her new­
ly-born daughter the talismanic name of Faith because “Faith
Morrison is a name that protects from quota systems and gas
chambers. It is a disguise for survival, protective coloration” (p.
208). This child of the new Faith conceived in Munich will not be
tormented by the Jewish past. Exorcised of memories and guilt
over the Holocaust, she will not have to struggle as Marjorie did to
reject Jewish boys who are “reminders of sad histories and terrible
destinies” (p. 32). She, the new Jew, will be able to march, brave
and whole, into tomorrow.
Do works of this kind represent a normal development, painful,
of course, but inevitable: a development which has similarly de­
meaned and violated other events in history because man, after all
remains man—an imperfect creature—or do they portend some­
thing more serious and frightening? Those predators who regard