Magazine article Tablet Magazine

My Cousin Harry: A Jewish Story of the Greatest Generation

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

My Cousin Harry: A Jewish Story of the Greatest Generation

Article excerpt

My cousin Harry Krug, who died early last year at 88, was related to me only by marriage, but he couldn't have been more braided into my mother's extended family. This matriarchy was dominated by strong-minded women like Harry's mother-in-law, my aunt Lily, stubborn and spiky as a Russian peasant, and Harry's wife Pauline, a force of nature, who had crisp reactions to everyone she knew. The climate of our clan was heated, the atmosphere operatic; the men who married in had to surrender their passports and go native, as my mild-mannered father readily did, trading in his dour Polish kin for some Russian joie de vivre. Harry too jumped in with both feet. Through stormy scenes he remained as genial and unflappable as his wife was volatile. With his generous girth and dark good looks, his twinkly, mischievous smile, he seemed impossible to upset. Whatever the weather, no one was going to spoil his day. …

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