CHAPTER 3Innocence Lost

IN THE 1930s, as I was growing up, Hitler came to power in Germany, and before he moved against the Rhineland, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia, then all of Europe, he moved against the Jews in Germany. My family followed closely the persecution of the Jews there and wondered where it would spread. My family was Jewish—not particularly religious, but certainly identifying ourselves closely with the Jewish community and its vulnerability.

One minor boyhood incident linked to the Nazis’ faraway depredations arose, curiously enough, in connection with my having been given piano lessons. At a family gathering at our house, my parents proudly pushed me to play something I had learned, as parents are inclined to do. I took ...

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