Friday, 26 July 2019

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Matters of Honor by Louis Begley

Whichever the individual story, to have survived World War II as a Jew in Eastern Europe must have been an experience that marked, if not scarred the person for life. Even the luckier ones who were spared the hideous concentration camps of the Nazis thanks to the help of courageous people hiding them and providing them best possible with the essentials, can tell the most heart-rending stories. However, many of the survivors preferred to stay silent about this time of suffering in the (vain) attempt to forget the horrific ghosts of the past. Some even went so far as to deny their Jewish origins in order to be just like everybody else and to avoid being the target of further anti-Semitism. The protagonist of my bookish déjà-vu, Matters of Honor by Louis Begley, is one of the latter, but as every so often the past isn’t so easily cast off…
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