Friday, February 27, 2009

The Fatal Fatwa: The article entitled "The Yoga Fatwa" in the February 27, 2009 The Boston Globe op ed written by Renee Loth says it all. She excellently explains why America, even with its frailties, is preferable to many other cultures. I am not an American exceptionalist impervious to American shortcomings or bad policies but a story such as this which talks about countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Egypt banning something as innocuous as Yoga drives home that point. How can banning something as benign as Yoga or for that matter blowing up ancient statues of the Buddha, or killing someone because they paint a cartoon be defended in any way? Loth takes aim at Europe, too, with their culture clash and the banning of Islamic head scarves. She even admits to our own, at times, American intolerance.

Who in this county would even think, though, to file a bill for the government to ban yoga, blow up Buddha statues, or make the wearing of an Islamic veil a criminal offense? Religious secularism, despite attempts at times to reverse it, still prevails. Multiculturalism is the essence of who we are.

For all of our shortcomings I agree with Ms. Loth. I'll take this country and its secular tradition -- albeit compromised at times -- any day over any other place on earth!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forgot to add -- The President's Speech -- one word -- BRILLIANT! Now let's hope he can implement it AND I hope the banks do not fail, and Pakistan does not explode! Beyond that I feel safe.
Dowd Does it Again: Maureen Dowd hits yet another home run. How true her thoughts are. This one is entitled "I Ponied Up for Cheryl Crow"
Great reading link below:

I particularly love the line:

"The bank cloaks itself in a philanthropic glow while wasting our money, acting like the American Cancer Society when in fact it’s a cancer on American society."

While I am at it and do not have much time today -- to sum up the president's first
speech before a joint session of Congress: BRILLIANT !!! This man, if all he says works, yes, will walk on water.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This was written in response to an article by Betsy Hart in the Metro West News entitled "When your child sasses the principal.

The Vulgarization of America: Steve Allen wrote a book entitled "Vulgarians at the Gate" where he talks about and criticizes the vulgarization of contemporary culture. As an attendee of Boston University (the Berkeley of the East) during the turbulent late 1960's I often nostalgically look back on that time as the first time in my life I experienced purpose and hope. That era brought necessary change for blacks, for women, for the environment, for the understanding of sexuality and it encouraged a new found freedom of inquiry and verbal exchange.

I also look back on that era with some profound sadness, doubt, regret and even some guilt. I fear that maybe some of those changes brought with them a variety of dysfunctions. The new found freedoms of critical analysis ushered in a violence, a promiscuity, addiction and a general lack of civility for what is permissible and what it not in the course of human relationships. It became okay to say anything, do anything, sleep with anyone and treat one's superiors like they were not superior at all.

We felt we should get along with everyone BUT we really didn't have to if we didn't want to. I feel so old when I say in my day but I will say it anyway -- In MY day in high school we would NEVER EVER think of "dissing" a teacher even IF that teacher was consummately wrong. We held our breath at the ones who dared. Is is right to be in such fear of after all mere mortals? No, I think not. We must, though, if we are to remain civilized TREAT each other, most especially those who are trying to educate and/or protect us with respect. It is that respect which is missing and I fear the genie can not be placed back in the bottle. There is, indeed, a crudity, coarseness, outrageous behavior and speech which is sanctioned now but never would have been in bygone eras.

When I visited the old South High School over a decade ago the lockers were defaced, doors removed from the bathrooms and there was, I felt, a general sense that the respect WE once had for not only the building but what the building represented, was gone. It made me cry and wonder if our generation ushered in something terribly wrong. Perhaps it did. Still, I would not want to return to the days of yesteryear when we did not question and we were not critical of a system that begged for criticism. I wonder, though, if we could not have done that in a kinder, gentler and more civilized way. Something good, civil and right has, I think, gone and my fear is that we will never be able to get it back.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Why I am what I am: READ this article link below appearing in the Metro Section of the Globe today. THIS is why I cannot let what the Vatican has done go. This is the example extraordinaire that sets my blood on fire. This is the story that makes me feel explosive and shapes my views and is responsible for my furiousness at the fate of the Jews. This story says EVERYTHING about a deep seeded endemic view sewn into the bowels of Christianity that makes a POPE -- a POPE mind you -- want to embrace priests within this horrifically antiSemitic Order to try to in humanitarian fashion "bring them back" into the fold. The Pope has the audacity to say that he did not know Williamson's views when it is clear even from laity who KNOW his views and have heard them first hand or any kid who can use google what those views are. Read this article below and see the spewing told directly TO the people who know Williamson and served him and YOU TELL ME how you are able to defuse an awful anger at the HORRENDOUS injustice that for centuries STILL lives in a part of the Christian and especially Catholic verbiage and belief. Not only does it live there I submit that despite a few Christian fundamentalists who claim to love Israel there are STILL many who are antiSemites of the worst order blaming the Jews for the death of Christ. IF the pope did NOT know this then WHY did not someone in his entourage CLUE him in? Why? Because I submit they are in sympathy with people in this Order and want them taken back.

This putrid belief has legs. Their perpetration of the fundamental basis of the stereotype of the Jew as the archetypal planner, schemer, and owner of all things of money and power in the entire Globe bent on raising himself and annihilating innocent Christianity if not God himself must be held accountable. This they believe is the Jew who is the only one who could perpetrate a fraud of such huge magnitude to get even scholars from Harvard to believe it. It is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for everyone to view. Israel naturally is swept up into this poison of 2000 years. Arabs all over the world use these rancid beliefs, spread them and sell antiSemitic literature and transmit it especially to youth so that THEY believe it is justified to eliminate the Jew. It goes on and on and on and on year after year, century after century and leaves NO room for reconciliation or peace.

Now when I wrap my head around the massive six million -- SIX MILLION -- number I cannot let it go. I can't let it go, I WON'T and I strike out verbally. This link should be spread everywhere. You should read it because it says something and those who have been critical of me and want me to let the strong feelings I have about the Holocaust and those who are responsible for it by belief and deed can see why I just simply cannot. The memory of the six cannot die. It must go on from generation to generation, parents MUST tell their children and their children's children for all time.

Further, the world and Christianity in particular must own up and NEVER forget its assistance in the transmitting the necessary preconditions and dogma for the greatest murder in this history of man. The Vatican MUST be held to account for its part in those beliefs forever as should EVERY religion who holds these ugly tenets. Those bishops who still hold those disgusting beliefs should NOT be allowed "back into the fold". To the contrary they should be RE-EXCOMMUNICATED until they recant those beliefs which
have been in part responsible for the murdering of millions.

Just cut and paste it and send it on.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Revolutionary Road a Revolutionary Experience: This film has become another in my own personal favorites. If a film makes it to my personal hit parade it means that it is, in my opinion, of intrinsic depth and phenomenal quality. It is so, I believe, in its content and in its acting. Both are superb! Kate Winslet's performance is simply riveting as is the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. I was enthralled from the first moment the film began to its end.

There is so much in this movie to discuss and I will try to do so limiting and without revealing any crucial information. I could relate to Winslet's character who simply could not, within that time period, fulfill her desire to be something extraordinary. I could relate to DiCaprio's character, too, who wants success, sees the futility of a boring occupation and life but cannot quite allow himself to dare take the plunge into more exciting but unknown waters.

Their marital relationship is torturous because neither can give to the other what each so desperately needs and wants. It is a tumultuous and explosive relationship to say the least as each tries with futility to fill the void in the other's life and be what the other wants. Neither can deliver that. As Ratso Rizzo says in “Midnight Cowboy” there are "gaps" in life. The question here, I think, is can another human being fill those gaps or are we all responsible ultimately for our own satisfaction? What role, too, does society play in allowing us the freedom of movement to fill those gaps and live our happiness?

Too often, I think, one looks to another for the way to ultimate satisfaction only to be disappointed as one human being simply cannot do that entirely for another. The era of the 1950's and early 1960's with its rigid sex roles and unnecessary rules placed women and men too in the difficult position of looking to their mate to satisfy the emptiness in each other's lives within a stricture that does not allow for movement. If one’s happiness is not the other’s what does one do in a culture such as that? Truly, it is an impossible task for both characters to attempt. They are two different people trying to live a singular relationship that a marriage of that era demanded. Irrespective of when they first met, their relationship seemed wrong from its start. They were, however, trapped by the conventions of marriage and of the time in which they lived.

The antiseptic yet underlying combustible aspect of the 1950's is evident. It is somewhat reminiscent of the series “Mad Men” when during this ever-so-conventional time human beings submerge their feelings for the appearances of propriety. In that era one simply did not talk usually about uncomfortable psychic issues unless and until those feelings became a Vesuvian eruption seeking outlet somewhere and even then their depth was either misdirected or avoided entirely.

Without giving away the difficult end of the film it made me ever grateful I live in an era which enjoys the benefits of the revolutionary road of the late 1960s. It truly made me appreciate how necessary those changes were as we all strive for our own pursuit of happiness and because of that time have a bit more flexibility within which to move.

This film left me breathless and I fear my opinion above does not do all of it justice. Kudos to two other characters: Kathy Bates gives her usual excellent performance as the 1950’s prototype of a seemingly superficial woman selling real estate within very complex familial issues underneath the surface. Kudos also to Michael Shannon as Kathy Bates’s emotionally disturbed but very savvy adult son. It takes his pathological character to throw into view the depth and pathology of the Wheelers' feelings about themselves and each other. His character was a revolutionary road which threw open the window into the Wheelers’ soul and ignited the appropriate and only end which the film could have had.

This was a marvelous viewing experience.
This was in response to a Feb. 17, 2009 Daily News Story

Pardoning the Unpardonable: The article in Daily News about the now uneasy relationship between Bush and Cheney because of the Libby scandal was interesting. Link below.

When I read it it was as if I were Alice In Wonderland where down is up and up is down. How one could ever justify or promote in any way policies which led to the Libby conviction, I will never understand. How those in the Bush administration view the world and how I view the world is like we are living on different planets.

I believe George Bush is entitled to the last spot on the good president hierarchy. I think he should be judged after James Buchanan for a plethora of reasons. I will not make you endure my recitation of them. Finally, though, I found one thing to laud about George Bush and that is his refusal to pardon Scooter Libby.

Cheney, Rove and others should join Libby in all that has befallen him and more. These men were complicit in outing a CIA agent. To say that what he did is treason is, I believe, putting a good spin on the egregious crime that was committed. He should not even have had his sentence commuted. He should be in jail. The fact that Libby was not pardoned gives George Bush one plus point and one point only in determining the utter failure of his presidency.

Outing this CIA agent compromised our ability to get intelligence on nuclear weaponry. Who knows what Valerie Pflame may have found had her cover not been blown. I do NOT think that it is too extreme to suggest the outing of Valerie Pflame compromised the acquiring of intelligence by our country which could, over the long run, have proved vital. We will never know. Worse they exposed her to justify their own lies perpetrating a war that should never have been waged and which has killed, wounded, and displaced hundreds of thousands including causing the deaths of over 4200 US soldiers and counting. Worse still, if that is possible, it has upset the balance of power in the Middle East handing Iraq a bloodless victory and the Taliban an emergence in nuclear equipped Pakistan providing at least the possibility of nuclear war which could escalate uncontrollably.

Most, if they had done what the Bush cabal did, would suffer an unyielding fate. Those who have committed treason have been tried for much less!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Iraq the Worst and George Bush dead last: Most of the analysis one reads makes it ever so clear Iraq was the biggest blunder, probably, in US history. The political consequences of Iraq are huge. It put Al Qaeda in Iraq were it was not before, it commands a US presence for decades to come, has killed over 4000 plus of our soldiers, cost our treasury billions if not a soon-to-be trillion, it empowered the extremist religiously fanatical Iran, and worse it made us take our eyes off Afghanistan where the real action against those who perpetrated 911 really was. Worse still is the nuclear threat that comes not ONLY from Iran but more worrisome Pakistan, which already has 100 nukes, as the religious extremists and Taliban knock on the Pakistan door of power. Zadari, I think,is not up to the task. This is what George Bush the incompetent, unqualified and intellectually bankrupt president has wrought. It instructs what can happen when the man in the White House is cerebrally not up to the task. No excuses, we the people put him there.

I would argue the historians wrong to put George W. Bush as number 36, one of the worst presidents. I put him dead last as the threat he manufactured was not simply conventional war but nuclear. He went to war based on a lie and a neocon unquestioned whim to supposedly transform the Middle East. His rationale for war was to prevent WMD's and Al Qaeda in Iraq where each did, heretofore, not exist. Now, ironically, he brought the horrendous potential of WMD's to our doorstep and placed Al Qaeda in Iraq and beyond. He destabilized the entire Middle East.

We suffer the potential of those consequences at the worst possible time. Our economy is in shambles manufactured on his watch and our defenses vulnerable.
One hopes we have something left as we are surely going to need it. Things in the Middle East look very dire, indeed, and our prior gambles there have failed dismally.

I pray for President Obama. He was handed a bombshell.

Friday, February 13, 2009

This was a response to Reg Henry, a syndicated columnist's, article about Darwin which appeared in the Metro West Daily News. I commented.

The Evolution of Evolution: Reg Henry's article in the February 13, 2009 Metro West Daily News "Darwin and the evolution of religious feeling" article WAS humorous as he wanted it to be. I agree with most of it. I think he covered the bases of what should not, I believe, even BE a debate. However, I have a few critiques of some of his thoughts. He says 'While the existence of God can't be proved scientifically, it can't be disproved either.' Of course, the answer to that oft quoted rationale for god is one cannot prove a negative. Moreover, the fact that he says 'Charles Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey must be proof even Darwin believed in god.' This is proof of nothing but the fact that Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey. My family is buried in Sharon Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery near Boston, but that does not mean everyone buried there all believed in god. Even if Darwin believed in god it still would not prove the existence of god. He is right, though when he says 'searching, souls do find the essence of goodness in myriad places.' There are probably 6 billion different interpretations of god and they find it in many places. Sometimes one can find goodness even by reading the atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkin's book, The God Delusion.One of Dawkins's disciples once said to me when I discussed with him my fear of death and the bleakness of eternity without a belief in god, that it is too bad we cannot accept life as it is and find the beauty in life as it has developed, as it existed over billions of years and as it exists now without having to be all consumed by the worry of death and the nothingness of eternity.

Darwin has had a monumental implication for man and science. His impact was multifaceted and absolutely unequivocally correct. Darwin's influence for the good is undisputed and only increases over time. We see evolution at work all around us. Archeologists uncover hundreds of millions of years of it every day, biologists see it in the lab among viruses, the AIDS virus did, if nothing else, prove it by showing us how cleverly the microbiological world can outwit even the smartest guys in the room by morphing so that man cannot develop a vaccine to prevent its poison. We see it when bacteria do the same so that our most heretofore potent antibiotic weapons against infection are often rendered useless as the bacteria changes to avoid its own extinction. We see it, too, as the world adapts to the external phenomenon of global warming. All life on earth is changing and adapting because of it. Evolution is real and it is true. It occurred in the past, occurs now, will occur in the future and can be proven endlessly. It will be true until the end of our time on earth as evolution dictates we all must die and it will be true even after that although we will not be around, singularly, to witness it. One necessary ingredient for evolution is time and planet earth has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have had plenty of that in its 4.5 billion year history. Happy 200th birthday, Darwin, we literally owe the explanation of life on earth to you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I sent this to Rachel, Keith and Chris Matthews about Congress's grilling of the CEO's yesterday. Not very well written but it gets my point across.

Theater of the Absurd -- Grilling of the CEO's: Interesting post I found on the Huffington Post blog. I must say I rather agree. Although I like Barney Frank he is counting on people to have short memories or NO memories at all of his utter support and entrenchment with Fannie Mae until it was not politically expedient and he turned. THAT is the kind of thing that makes me sick. You may want to talk a little about that or when you have him on nail him on that issue. And you may want to talk about the opinion below. It is at the heart of the sick feeling the majority of Americans have I do not know who posted it but I thought it worthy of conveying.

Here is what someone said:

"What great theater -- many Academy Award performances by the politicians of both parties. There were many Firsts.

Academy Award for Screaming at the People You Enabled Through Deregulation Legislation to Cause the Collapse While Accepting Their Campaign Contributions -- For the First Time Awarded to the Whole Committee, Both Parties.

Academy Award for False Modesty While Simply Renaming "Bonuses" Something Else (like "Awards") So the Good Times Can Keep Rolling While the Middle Class Sinks into Poverty -- Awarded to CEOs of the Major Banks.

Academy Award for Passing Legislation That Lacks the Necessary Protections for the Taxpayers, Such as Criminal Provisions for Misusing the Money and Reregulation So That They Can Appear Like They Are Doing Something While Making Certain the Campaign Contributions Keep Coming In -- Again, the Whole Committee, Both Parties.

Brilliant Performances All."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eight is Enough: Jeff Jacoby in his February 11, 2009 editorial in The Boston Globe "The choice to have 8 babies" seems to equate the morality of a mother having eight babies plus the 6 she already had with that of the loosening up of society's moral standards which allows abortion, gay marriage, single parenting and the like. I submit he misses the point. It is not the fact that the mother had the eight babies with which I quarrel. I don't care if she has 20 babies or 30 babies or none. That part of it is not my business. I believe it is rather like smokers' rights. Smokers' rights end where my nose begins. Where my nose begins smokers have no rights. Likewise, rights of the mother of 14 to have multiple births end when the taxpayer has to pick up the food stamp, home care and medical bill tabs. Have as many babies as you like just do not ask me to pay, over decades, for any of them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reversed Course: Kudos on the dismissal of the Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson as the head of the Argentine seminary where he officiated. One must give credit where it is due. Bravo to the Church for its rejection statements of that bishop and its attempt to repair, yet again, its near irreparable schism with the Jewish people. It shows one what can happen when large numbers of people protest and reject in outrage historically inaccurate and damaging comments.

The promulgation of the 1965 Vatican II first by Pope John XXIII and then by his successor Pope Paul VI condemned historical and modern day anti-Semitism. It showed what a positive effect the Church can have on long entrenched virulent human behavior. The Church's document Nostra Aetate within Vatican II changed, hopefully forever, the Church's relationship to the Jews. It ultimately lead to John Paul II (a Bishop at that time) who recognized and ultimately atoned for whatever complicity the Church shared in the events that led up to the worst horror in human history, the Holocaust. Surprisingly, a then Father Joseph Ratinzger -- now Pope Benedict VI -- was a theological consultant to it. The statements of a heretofore excommunicated Bishop Williamson and his acceptance back into the Church by Pope Benedict the VI threatened to overturn that arduously achieved reality.

It must have been, indeed, a huge outrage which would force the Vatican to reverse course so quickly as it is rare for it to change in such short order and, indeed, is often slow when change does, in fact, occur over time. I do continue to question, too, whether the Vatican, as it claims, did not know Bishop Williamson's views. In the age of Google that is, indeed, hard to believe. Nonetheless, I accept a reverse course and laud them for it. This time the Vatican and the Argentine seminary from whence Bishop Williamson emerged did the right thing.

I post the link to the New York Times story below:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ever Vigilant: I just picked up my morning Boston Globe and I see the headline that says:

'Vatican tells bishop to recant views on Holocaust. Pope reacts after criticism worldwide ...
The controversy has damaged the reputation of the German-born pope'

I have not read the entire story yet but the headlines I think say it all. The satisfaction I feel cannot be expressed verbally. Suffice it to say tears are rolling down my face as I feel in some very small way I, through my writing in many publications about this event, have contributed to the chorus of voices world wide who were furious at the papal behavior besmirching the veracity of the Holocaust a tragic event which is holy to Jews and many others. I feel like I and others like I DID something for the memory of the six million and something for our oft beleaguered and besieged people!

I will read the story but it seems, at least from the headlines, that the Pope did the correct thing. I laud him for that and hope he monitors carefully what he says and even more carefully what he does. I applaud him for THIS necessary act. I remain ever vigilant.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Reinforced Belief: I was reading my thoughts about my anathema of Pope Benedict's decision to reinstate a Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson. It was incomplete. In addition to what I said is the actual liturgy of New Testament texts which has sealed the fate of the Jews. Christians simply cannot get around its tradition. The current Pope Benedict is a traditionalist. I believe, more than that, he really has one part of his heart in history when the church was a vicious advocate of its literal text. That is why those three bishops, members of a fanatical Latin oriented Catholic sect and the one who denied the gas chambers of the Holocaust existed, Benedict "rehabilitates" and reverses their excommunication. Other popes, while most all traditionalists, had an element of reform like John Paul II and especially Paul VI in 1965 who promulgated nostra aetate which changed the culpability of the Jews for the death of Jesus.

They tried to bridge the gap between Christian and Jew. John Paul II very much tried to reach out to everyone. Benedict, though, talks a good game but then does things or says things that reverse it such as his indictment of Muslims. He KNOWS perfectly well what he is saying. He says these things and then comes out with an apology and says oh no I'm sorry I didn't mean that. Meanwhile people died because of those words. One cannot put the genie back in the bottle, though, and the words he says he KNOWS mean something. Former Cardinal Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict DID mean what he said about Muslims just as he means to reinstate the Holocaust denier. I think he agrees or wants to put forth that thought by his actions but then says oh no he doesn't believe it. John Paul II was Polish and saw his friends who were Jews just vanish. Benedict is a German and a former Nazi youth but dismisses that fact by saying he was forced into it. I maintain, this is still part of him even to this day. I always knew, if the church picked him as John Paul's successor, what he would be like.

What does it all mean and does the Vatican really have power? Catholics, and there ARE a lot of them, are followers NOT debaters and usually adhere to whatever the pope says no matter who he is. What he says means something to those Catholic billions. Personally, I think he is fraudulently deceitful. He says things and then takes them back and thinks it ameliorates everything. Well it does not ameliorate it with me. I have sent letters to many including Cardinal O'Malley of Boston in fierce opposition to reinstating the Holocaust denier Bishop Williamson. I will and ALL Jews should NOT forget this episode. It should not die with time.

Although many in Christianity have repudiated the indictment of the Jews for Jesus' death it exists in the New Testament, it is in there whether you deny it or not. Others such as Muslims who have NOTHING to do with New Testament text use it, too, as proof that the Jews are INTRINSICALLY bad. Indeed, they are not just bad for their policies but that their very ESSENCE is bad as Europeans said for two thousand years. The baton of anti-Semitic thought passed on to new hands but the old hands still carry its stain. False texts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an old Russian and European anti-Semitic fabrication, are now number one best sellers besides the Koran in, for example, Egypt, Syria and I'm sure elsewhere in the Arab world.

In my opinion, the etiology of anti-Semitism rests with that original document which indicts all Jews everywhere for the killing of the Christian god and not just then but FOR ALL TIME. That is a very heavy indictment to shake off and the behaviors it induced over two thousand years leads us to our current problematic disastrous situation in which Jews, especially in Israel but elsewhere too, exist. In my opinion, the existence of Israel and all of its dimensions IS because the Holocaust WAS. The etiology of the Jewish state is really, I think, basically that simple. I fear the controversy is with us until the end of time OR may be responsible for homo sapiens end of time on this earth.

I CANNOT forgive and I CANNOT forget and I cannot turn the other cheek. I am cognizant of ALL hypocrisy and ALL espousal and behaviors of inhumanity no matter who does them, Arab or Israeli alike, but to the end of my time on this sad earth, I will ALWAYS remember the bodies ... six million of them ... a number that cannot be conceived and cannot be erased. There has been NOTHING like it ever in the history of man's violent stay on earth. The history of anti-Semitism is unique. Its unique in its length of time on earth, its spread over vast geography and its cross cultural transmission over time. It is about a people who are less than one percent of the world's population (0.2% to be exact). The six million are NEVER, not for one day, out of my mind and Benedict, by his reinstatement of a Holocaust denier, reinforces all that I believe.
"From Hitler to Hollywood": I highly recommend seeing on PBS "From Hitler to Hollywood." Link below. It TRULY is an amazing work yet again that PBS, the station of incredible excellence, does. This is such a masterpiece documentary of an interesting, and, perhaps, little known time in Hollywood.

It is amazing HOW MANY actors, screenwriters, directors, producers musicians, score writers and the list goes on and on and on who were Jews who fled Europe those terrible years and came here. One by one from around 1936 to 39 when they COULD get out some did. This documentary is about those people...those brilliant and talented people who were swept up in the tsunami of the destruction of Europe of that era.

In a way, Hitler did the US a favor because they came here and contributed to our culture in unparalled ways. People like Peter Lorre, Fred Zinneman (Directed Julia) and a ton of others, Billy Wilder, Ditriech, Heddy Lamar, Paul Heinreid, and a thousand more who contributed so much to the arts especially film. Films like Casablanca, Double Indemnity, The Killers, The Sweet Smell of Success, Citizen Kane, Some Like it Hot, and THAT list goes on and on. I did not realize and have just RECENTLY become interested in film noir that it was almost entirely influenced by the German, Austrian, French, Polish and other Jews and some others of conscience who fled when they saw the handwriting on the wall. Noir is their experience in that they saw the dark side of life, man at his worst and film noir comes out of that.

Some who fled never saw their family again, mother, fathers, etc. Some could never quite adapt well to America but some did. The whole thing is fascinating and I guess
it is an example of why the Holocaust utterly CONSUMES me despite being born after it. It is the intellect of these people makes the depth and the breadth of the Holocaust which is dumbfounding and the people ... these people who were NOT
orthodox Jews but SECULAR Jews but it didn't matter. None of it. It mattered not that they were secular, patriotic, unpolitical ... it just mattered if someone somewhere knew you were a Jew. It becomes SO personal and it wasn't like these people were uncultured, did not like learning, dragged a culture down or were so different from the masses. To the contrary they lifted a culture up, loved their countries and were brilliant men and women like Einstein ... imagine EINSTEIN was forced to flee Europe to the US.

The profound character of those years in every domain whether, arts, literature, science, religion, philosophy, had an impact. It shaped MY own personal politics my entire adult life. After first learning about the Holocaust at age 8 in a movie theater newsreel which they had in the 50's, I became so literally nauseated as an 10 year old after seeing those pictures of bodies heaped on a pile I nearly threw up
not figuratively but literally. So I knew when I was older and became political I would NEVER be a part of the right wing. I knew the right no matter in what form I would be the opposite of what I was. I knew then Nuremberg must apply everywhere OR it applies nowhere.

This web site of PBS if you are interested is: