During some of our discussion, Johanna and I talked about prejudice the note fear of strangers and of those who are different, and the variety of emotions human beings harbor. We discussed how to live with this while at the same time strenuously oppose this negative human characteristic and the violence and vile it precipitates.
I was the one who dried Johann’s tears when she came home from school where her classmates’ anti-Semite remarks had caused her hurt. “Why, Oma, don’t they like Jews?”
An echo of my young son’s experience years ago with the neighbor boy who shot him with a BB gun. “I wish Hitler had gotten you.”
An echo of my own question to my father when my birthday party was called. “Why, Vati, don’t they like Jews?”
What a please to reflect with a young woman, decades younger than I, to learn what she was thinking about and trying to resolve.
When Johanna’s parents were notified by the emergency room doctor that resuscitation had been unsuccessful, they were in shock. Why? Where? When did this happen? Who killed Johanna? Is she dead?
Meanwhile, the murderer ran away: “Kill Johanna! Kill all the Jews!”
Read more from Dr. Renate G. Justin in her forthcoming memoir, What I HAVE to Tell. This touching and inspirational story was Dr. Justin’s final publication. #MEM