Monday, January 28, 2019

Grandpa Morris and the Trial of Adolf Eichmann

I always thought of Grandpa Morris as tender hearted. But that impression changed when Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents and brought back to Jerusalem to stand trail.

"If it were up to me," Grandpa Morris said to me, "there would be no trial.  I would cut a square inch of skin off his body each day and watch him rot to death."

I was in my early teens and had been sleeping over at my Grandparents' home for the weekend. I was shocked.

Grandpa Morris' entire family had been murdered by the Nazi's - his parents, those of his brothers and sisters who had not made it to America, his cousins, everyone except for one niece, Fransiska, who had survived Auschwitz.

Grandpa's devotion to his family was part of family myth.  He would patch his sweaters at the elbow and send every bit of extra money back home. I'd watch him fold a sheet of carbon paper over the dollar bills so that the cash would go undetected by censors.

There was another story about Grandpa as a small boy. Once he was out in the fields working and found a strawberry - he carried that strawberry in his hand all day and finally brought it back home for his mother.

So I didn't know what to make of his words about Eichmann.  Surely, he must be right, I thought. But when I questioned my mother, she said, "We can't stoop to their level."

Still, the rawness of his emotions got to me. That day was the closest I ever came to my Grandfather.

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