In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939the story, says Peter Gay, of a poisoning and how I dealt with it. With his customary eloquence and analytic acumen, Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelingsthen and nowtoward Germany and the Germans.Gay relates that the early years of the Nazi regime were relatively benign for his family: as a schoolboy at the Goethe Gymnasium he experienced no ridicule or attacks, his fathers business prospered, and most of the familys non-Jewish friends remained supportive. He devised survival strategiesstamp collecting, watching soccer, and the likethat served as screens to block out the increasingly oppressive world around him. Even before the events of 193839, culminating in Kristallnacht, the family was convinced that they must leave the country. Gay describes the bravery and ingenuity of his father in working out this difficult emigration process, the courage of the non-Jewish friends who helped his family during their last bitter months in Germany, and the familys mounting panic as they witnessed the indifference of other countries to their plight and that of others like themselves. Gays accountmarked by candor, modesty, and insightadds an important and curiously neglected perspective to the history of German Jewry.

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