Apr 28 2014
In 1938, my grandfather escaped Austria on the kindertransport. He was sent to England, where he lived with a family who sponsored him. His parents were sent to the Isle of Wight, where they were prisoners for most of the war. Eventually he made it to the US, where he lived briefly in Ohio before being conscripted into the Army, and sent back to Europe to work as a translator.
The Holocaust is very much a part of my family narrative. It’s part of my history, and it’s important to me, but as I build my own family, I’ve started to think about the ways I want to address this issue with my kids. Here’s what I won’t do:
1. I won’t teach my kids to fear anti-Semitism around every corner. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 4 2013
Tomorrow, December 5th, NBC will air The Sound of Music – Live! Rather than a remake of the much loved Julie Andrews movie, this is actually a revival of the original Broadway production.
The Sound of Music was the first movie I saw upon immigrating to the U.S. as a child. It gave me nightmares. Not, as so many people guess, due to the overabundance of lederhosen, but due to the overabundance of Nazis. Maybe the guys in the crimson armbands didn’t mean much to American kids in the 1970s, but, coming from the USSR, I knew all about fascists and how they were out to get little children. (What I didn’t know then, was that the Nazis had been out to get Jews, specifically. Despite the existence of graveyards like Babi Yar, that detail was minimized in the Soviet Union.)
Maybe it was as a result of my (over)-reaction, that my aunt simply never showed my little cousin the final part of the movie. She turned off the videocassette after Maria and the Captain get married.
When my cousin grew up and found out how The Sound of Music really ended (it’s very possible I may have been the one who enlightened her; I was that kind of kid), it changed the entire movie for her.
Meanwhile, as I grew up (and got a degree in Media Studies), I learned numerous tidbits about the making of the film that made me see it in a different light, too.
In honor of the brand new production, I will share with you seven of these tidbits… one for each of the Von Trapp moppets. Read the rest of this entry →