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My grandfather's origin story reads like a Horatio Alger myth: born to a poor family, hungry, resilient, determined to forge a better life for himself, he worked his way up through the ranks of a logging company—laborer, estimator, lead forester. While running a crew on a large property in the countryside, he met the teenage daughter of the estate owner; there, in the glow of the summer woods, the young forester, Eliyahu, and my...
I was sick of the Holocaust by the time I was 21. As a Jewish American, I had read too many stories: The Devil’s Arithmetic as a child to Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz in college. Sure, I felt guilty, but I couldn’t witness the violence and hatred again and again. None of these books answered my question: How could people let this happen? The American answer has been a simple, villainous caricature. From...

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