Sunday, December 14, 2008

my german question

From Anonymous Admirer: The historian Peter Gay (né Peter Fröhlich) wrote in the preface of his poignant memoir, My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin (1998),And so I asked myself, Why didn’t we pack our bags and leave the country the day after Hitler came to power? It was an agonizing question that I am going to ask again and again in these pages. I came to believe that I could appear as a witness as well as taking satisfaction from unsparing self-examination—and, I hope, giving satisfaction as well. Whether I have succeeded is not for me to say. But if I had thought I had failed I would not have published this book. Gay was born and raised in Berlin and lived there until, at age 16 and just after Kristallnacht, he and his family left for the United States via Cuba.

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