Monday, August 27, 2007

Poetic Justice

The ultimate betrayal? Son of Nazi Embraces Judaism (Jewish World Review August 21, 2007):
Bernd Wollschlaeger has two stories to tell.

First, he's a former officer in the Israel Defense Forces, a physician who developed expertise in biological warfare. He lives in Miramar, Florida, runs a family practice in North Miami Beach, has become a legislative leader of the American Medical Association and is active in local Jewish causes.

Now, at 49, he has decided to tell "my coming-out story."

It is this: He was born the Christian son of a World War II German tank commander — a third-generation warrior who received Deutschland's highest military honor, the Iron Cross, which was pinned on his uniform by Adolf Hitler himself. . . .

Good one. Here's another from last year: Matthias Göring Goes Kosher (Der Spiegel May 10, 2006):
Mr. Göring is determined to discover the origin of the wine we're drinking. The waiter, an old man with snow white hair and a dark blue kippa, toddles over and says: "It's from a small vineyard near Haifa, Sir." Göring leans back in his chair, satisfied. "Ah, Israeli wine," he sighs, "Perfect."

That's Matthias Göring, not Hermann. Even so, it is very odd to be having lunch in a Jewish restaurant with a direct descendent of Adolf Hitler's right-hand man. Matthias Göring, though, couldn't be happier here. After 44 years of "despising Jews" and suffering the curse of his family name, the 49-year-old physiotherapist has become a full-on Israel lover. He wears a kippa, keeps kosher, celebrates Shabbat, is learning Hebrew and is even considering converting. His family thinks he has gone mad.

"They think I've got a screw loose," grins the man who now works with the victims of suicide bombings. "But I know what has happened to me is completely and utterly real."