Thursday, August 17, 2006


Lat night I was putting my son to bed. He is seven, but he still likes to cajole us to lie down with him and tell him a story. It doesn't happen very often that we comply, but last night the wife was out and I figured I'd make him happy.

I started telling him a story about how when I was a little boy, I'd spend my time running around outside playing war games. It was always the Russians against the Nazis. Long negotiations would always ensue about who got to be the Nazis, since everyone wanted to be the good guys. Since WWII movies were a staple on television and in the theaters when I was growing up, we all knew how to play the game. The Germans would scream "Schneller!" and "Hande Hoch!"; we ran around shooting each other, capturing prisoners, tending to the wounded.

My son asked how many Russians were killed in WWII. I told him - twenty million. He asked how many Jews; I told him - about a million. I told him before about the anti-semitism in Russia and so he asked me if the Russians helped the Germans kill Jews. I said, yes, but also some Russians helped Jews as well. I told him that just like all people there were good Russians and bad Russians, good Germans and bad Germans, good Jews and bad Jews.

It was then he looked at me and said, "Daddy, wouldn't it be great if there were no bad people in the world? Then you wouldn't have to worry about talking to strangers, or going outside by yourself, or locking the doors at night."


Blogger Shoshana said...

I think your son has solved all the world's problems - I just wish :)

August 17, 2006 7:28 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

"How many Jews" - that means Russian Jews, I assume?

If only everyone were so pure-hearted.

August 17, 2006 8:24 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


Yes, I was referring to Jews in the former Soviet Union. To tell you the truth, I don't know the exact number, because the borders were pretty fluid back then.

You know, as I think about this out loud, there's something obscene in this counting anyway... 1 million Soviet Jews, 3 million Polish Jews, 20 million Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Moldovans, etc, etc, etc... These are human beings that were killed. I guess they have become statistics.

And the world really hasn't learned squat.

August 17, 2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Mary Hogan said...

Here is a great site to learn Path of the Just, Ramchal. Yad Avraham/ Rabbi Kalatsky.

Ramchal is amazing.

August 20, 2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Actually, in the case of the Dutch Jews, an abstract form of counting serves a horrible highlighting function.

Azoy: Most of the Dutch were not killed in the war. Most of the Dutch who were killed in the war were Jewish. Most of the Dutch Jews were killed in the war.

And at that point, the sensible person starts asking questions.....

August 23, 2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I sometimes wish the same thing. It kills me that my child is growing up inside such a scary scary world!

August 24, 2006 6:37 AM  

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