I guess every group likes to have at
least one scapegoat; I just happened to fall into that category early on and
become the group's permanent focus. Looking back now, I strongly suspect that if
there had been a black or Hispanic student in my age-group, I would most likely
have been over-looked. Probably never popular, but not THE ONE to be taunted
and physically beaten up.
To this day, I still feel most Jewish
when I hear Judaism being attacked.
At home, however, I got somewhat mixed
signals about being Jewish. The tragedy of "The Six Million" (Jews
who died in the Nazi Holocaust) always loomed large. I was told you could never
really trust "the goyim" because look what happened to German Jews;
they had felt themselves to be Germans first and Jews second. Big mistake.
And yet...in my memory, my parents never
really practiced Judaism. Every Chanukah was filled with eight nights of
presents (wonderful!) and every Passover we had a special family meal, complete
with the four questions. But that was it. No Sabbath on Friday nights. No
fasting on Yom Kipper. We were like Christians who were really Christian only
on Christmas and Easter. About as assimilated as you could get.
It seemed that being Jewish was not a
thing you practiced; it was a state of being---and a dangerous state at that. You
never know when the ax might fall.
Informant was a female in her twenties.
THE BACKGROUND on these interviews, that
is, when they were conducted, who the informants were, and why I post them, see
"Why Get Your Hopes Up?" # 16
"God Knew the Jews Were Going to Have a
Pretty Interesting History."
Bieganski Interview # 21
"Why Did You Bring This F---ing Jew Into
Bieganski Interview # 22
Jew B------ Raised the Rate" Bieganski interview # 23
"You Never Know When the Ax Might
Fall" Bieganski interview # 24