Literature of the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis


Claude Cassirer must be a clever person. He escaped capture by fleeing from Berlin to Prague, Prague to England, then (for some reason) from England back to occupied Paris, then Paris to Casablanca where somehow he arranged a boat to New York City. Here are his comments about his attitudes today.

I'm not comfortable with men's organizations. I like women and enjoy being with them. My other involvements are with political campaigns. I'm also a member of the Federation's Speakers Bureau. I feel I have a message to give. I'm sensitive to anything that reminds me of Germany. When they had this no-knock law, for example, that was too close to Gestapo technique for me--or that certain books were to be banned, or sterilization of groups of people. I'd like people to think of such things carefully and see the frightening implications. I want to resist this feeling of hopelessness that people get. They think they can't change the course of history. That's not true. I think there are people who have the guts and courage to do things and we should help them. I don't think we can dare to take our liberties for granted.

Anything can happen here. When I saw the faces of the people in the South preventing the black people from going to certain schools and using German police dogs and fire hoses they looked no different than the Nazi stormtroopers with their dogs fighting the Jews. People are people. The Germans are no worse than others. If the government becomes immoral and sanctions such things there is danger for everyone.

If there's any hope of survival for the Jews they must unite and stand for what they believe. They must not hide. I found that out when the Jews of Germany said they were not Jewish, and G6ring said, "I'll decide who's Jewish."

I have confidence in this country. It is as good a democracy as one can find. That's why I was so disturbed when the Nixon thing happened. The other aspect that troubles me is the crime and violence. I abhor the aggressiveness. I don't watch cowboy movies, with people hitting and shooting one another. I see no sense in such things.

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http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/cassirer.html - - - Last modified: Friday, 06-Aug-2004 09:19:15 EDT