Remembering each and every person who was lost, may their memory be a blessing.
Dedicated by Mina and Suzanne Goodman

Day 11

Jewish Life in Europe after the Holocaust

Dedicated in loving memory of the family members of Edith & Benny Schmidt-Bodner who were murdered in the Shoah. May they never be forgotten.

Recently, over glasses of white wine in a trendy Budapest bistro, a friend of mine, whom I will call Rozsa, told me a story from her childhood that I had never heard before. In the early 1960s, when she was five or six years old, she visited her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, in the small Hungarian town where he lived. He took her to the Jewish cemetery and stood with her in front of the entrance. “See those beautiful letters?” he asked, pointing to the Hebrew. “At one point I could read them. But then I decided not to. Now can’t, and I regret it.” The anecdote typifies the experience of many Jews during the post-Holocaust Communist era, when established Jewish communities were organisationally weak, and study or even discussion of Jewish topics was discouraged, if not outright taboo.


Ruth Ellen Gruber

Ruth Ellen Gruber is an American author and journalist who has chronicled Jewish developments in Europe for more than 25 years. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Poland’s Knight’s

Cross of the Order of Merit, and other awards. She coordinates the web site

Click here for today’s parallel essay by Anne Applebaum.


Fact of the Day

September 17, 1933

Central Organization of German Jews formed. This was an umbrella organization comprising all the political and religious groups of Jews living in Germany. Its main task was the coordination of Jewish self-help activities during the long and harsh persecutions of the Nazi era. Jewish self-help activities were widespread, innovative and charitable. Programs were organized to provide whatever legal defenses were still acceptable to the Nazis, as well as to initiate and sponsor a variety of emigration efforts.

Click here to view the image.

Today's Video

Jewish life after the Holocaust was very difficult. This moving and powerful song tells one such tale with an ending that…. I will leave you to see the video!

70 Days for 70 Years is a project of The United Synagogue