Betrayed by Europe: An Expatriate’s Lament
Journalist, novelist, and translator Nidra Poller, an American ex-pat who has been living in Paris with her family since 1972, writes in the latest issue of Commentary
about her painful decision to leave her adopted homeland for the US. The main reason? Poller and her family are Jewish and scared for their lives. Her poignant essay is not just another report on the disturbing levels of anti-semitism in France
or yet another
French Jew abandoning the country for safer turf
, but an examination of the power of hope (and inertia) in our lives, even when intellectually one sees no reason for hope: I'm being treated to a poignant lesson in European and Jewish history. The 30's: why did they stay? Why didn’t they run for their lives? Couldn’t they see what was happening? I see before me a vivid demonstration of the deep roots we dig to make our lives bloom, the intricate biology of a human life, irrigated with the lifeblood of a community, inextricably connected to a society, born of life to give life to keep life alive. Leaving is not packing up and tipping your hat goodbye. It is tearing live flesh out of a living matrix.
A powerful and disturbing testimony.
posted by Asparagirl
on Mar 14, 2004 -