Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Suite Francaise" Author A Self-Hating Jew?

One of publishing's most Cinderalla-like story in years surrounded "Suite Francaise," a tale of a French village under Nazi occupation rescued from the dustbin of history and released to remarkable acclaim and sadness that the author died in Auschwitz. Now come serious reports that the author was not the most sensitive of types when it came to Jews and her own Jewish origins.

1 comment:

George Robinson said...

Color me shocked. A Jew who doesn't like other Jews. That's never happened before.

My mother has vivid memories of her family's relocation from New York City to Westchester, around the same time Nemirovsky was writing her earlier novels. Her father, who was an avid swimmer and tennis player, was looking to join a country club and was told, 'don't go to club x because they only accept Russian Jews; you want to go to club y because they only accept German and Austrian Jews.'

Regrettably, one of the ugly truths about oppression is that the oppressed people learn to despise themselves and that manifests itself in the creation of hierarchies within their community. So German and Austrian Jews disdain "Ostjuden" (Jews from the East), African-Americans valorize lighter skin and "good hair," and so on.

Malcolm X said it best, "The worst thing the white man did to us was to teach us to hate ourselves."