(July) Saturday Morning, Redwood City: E-Mail from Son, Among Other Things

Self super-excited because a) she got e-mail from son, informing her of his latest whereabouts; b) she got a new comment on her blog and c) she found another passage to quote from Eichmann book (in which she has lived intensely — except for yesterday afternoon, when she was wandering around downtown RWC with Gillian — all of the past week)

First, son has kindly listed for self his latest itinerary:

    It’ll look like… 2 nights Madrid. 2 nights Granada. 3 nights Barcelona. 0-2 nights Carcassonne. 3 nights Paris. 1-2 nights Florence/Milan/Venice/Ravenna. 3-4 nights Rome. Then home.

He also sends picture, and even though son is naturally the only person whose shoulders hunch up (as if he is tense — something he must have inherited from self!), he has a big smile on his face and so do the 26 other American students in the picture, including one man who son said was a complete stranger who sidled into the photograph at the last moment, but who seemed pretty happy anyway as he held his full glass of wine aloft.

Now to Eichmann (Self already on the last 80 pages, for those dear blog readers who can hardly wait for her to get over this period). Here are the list of witnesses at the trial and the countries from which they originated. An effort was made to obtain witnesses from every camp. Self is surprised that there were not more:

“five witnesses from Prague . . . just one witness from Austria . . . one witness each from France, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, and Soviet Russia; two from Yugoslavia; three each from Romania and Slovakia; and thirteen from Hungary. But the bulk of the witnesses, fifty-three, came from Poland and Lithuania . . . sixteen men and women who told the court about Auschwitz (ten) and Treblinka (four), about Chelmno and Majdanek . . . four witnesses for Theresienstadt and one for the exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen.”

Among these witnesses was “the father of Herschel Grynszpan, who, on November 7, 1938, at the age of seventeen, had walked up to the German embassy in Paris and shot to death its third secretary, the young Legationistrat Ernst vom Rath. The assassination had triggered the pogroms in Germany and Austria, the so-called Kristallnacht of November 9, which was indeed a prelude to the Final Solution . . . ”

Arendt calls Grynszpan “a psychopath, unable to finish school, who for years had knocked about Paris and Brussels” (aren’t all these assassins psychopaths? Self means: Sirhan Sirhan, et al?) And the irony is that his victim, Vom Rath, was “a singularly inadequate victim, he had been shadowed by the Gestapo because of his openly anti-Nazi views and his sympathy for Jews.”

Is not that the irony of all ironies, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

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