NauenThen

The Crooked Mirror

November 18, 2013

Tags: Louise Steinman, Beth Thielen

I suppose writing about a book before I read more than a few pages of it is dumb, but in this case, writing this is part of the anticipation. The book is (my old friend) Louise Steinman's The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. She says that 80% of American Jews are at least in part descended from Polish Jews. I'm not, so a lot of what she remembers or has found out didn't resonate personally—and yet, I share attitudes, such as thinking Poland was the worst, most antisemitic country. It wasn't. It seems a lot of our assumptions and beliefs are just wrong. For example, she says there are more Poles among the Righteous Gentiles honored at Yad Vashem.

From the short excerpt she read at her book party yesterday, I can tell you it's beautifully & thoughtfully written. "Do they miss us?" she asks, and we all caught our breath.