b. Constance, Germany, 1925
It was 1933. Herr B., our friendly neighbor, showed up with a Nazi party insignia on his lapel. My father was shocked.
“Herr B., would you mind telling me why you joined the party?”
“Not at all. We have a new leader now, and we have to show him that we'll support him. Besides, ” he added, “I picked up a few new jobs since I joined.”
“What do you think about what the Party is doing to the Jewish people?” my father probed.
“Ah, yes—it's too bad, ” Herr B. sighed. “It's too bad that the good have to suffer along with the bad!”
“Which ones are we?” my father inquired. “Are we the good Jews or the bad Jews?”
Herr B. laughed. “What a question! You know you are good people. You are our friends!”
My father persisted. “You know most of the Jews of Constance. Which ones are the bad Jews that we have to suffer along with?”
Herr B. thought for a few seconds. He admitted that all of the Jews of our town seemed to be decent, honest people.
“Then where are these bad Jews you are talking about?”
Herr B. was angry now.
“You know damned well where they are, ” he shouted. “All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or turn on your radio!”
He turned away, then looked back. “Where there's smoke, there's fire!”