Friday, October 23, 2015

Victor Zarnowitz and the Jewish Diaspora

Let me be clear: I'm a German/Irish Philadelphia Catholic (with a bit more mixed in...), a typical present-day product of nineteenth-century U.S. immigration. So what do I really know about the Jewish experience, and why am I fit to pontificate (so to speak)? Of course I'm not, but that never stopped me before.

Credible estimates suggest that between 1939 and the end of WWII, ten million Jews left Europe. One of them was Victor Zarnowitz. He and I and other close colleagues with similar interests, not least Glenn Rudebusch, saw a lot of each other in the eighties and nineties and zeros, learned in spades from each other, and immensely enjoyed the ride.

But that's just the professional side. For Victor's full story, see his Fleeing the Nazis, Surviving the Gulag, and Arriving in the Free World: My Life and Times. I cried when reading it several years ago. All I'll say is that you should get it and read it. His courage and strength are jaw-dropping and intensely inspirational. And he's just one among millions.

[The impetus for this post came from the outpouring of emails for another recent post that mentioned Victor. Thanks everyone for your memories. Sorry that I had to disable blog comments. Maybe someday I'll bring them back.]