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KERTESZ, Imre



Kaddish for an Unborn Child

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I read somewhere; while God still existed one sustained a dialogue with God, and now that He no longer exists one has to sustain a dialogue with other people, I guess, or, better still, with oneself, that is to say, one talks or mumbles to oneself.

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On one occasion she had spoken heatedly about the French Revolution, saying it had been little better than the Nazis. Her great-aunt responded by saying that she, being a Jew, had no right to talk about the French Revolution in that way, because had there been no French Revolution the Jews would still be living in ghettos today. After this rebuke from the great-aunt, so my wife remembered, she had not spoken a word at home for days or maybe even weeks. She had felt that she herself no longer existed, that she had no right at all to lay claim to her own feelings or thoughts, that solely because she had been born a Jew she could have only Jewish feelings and Jewish thoughts.

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