French Connections

Two articles in yesterday’s New York Times really caught my attention.

First up is this profile of Samuel Pisar. I met the Pisar family back in 1990, when I was spending a semester in Paris. During my undergraduate years at Harvard, I held a termtime job in the admissions office, and while I was in Paris I was an unofficial “greeter” for local students who had just been admitted to the school. One of them was named Leah Pisar (Leah is multiply referenced and quoted in the article, too). Meeting her father, a Holocaust survivor, all those years ago made my subsequent reading of his harrowing memoir, Of Blood and Hope, all the more powerful.

Next, sadly, is a story of all-too-contemporary anti-Semitism in my beloved France. In the print edition, this appears on the same page as the Pisar profile. Which, for some reason, also affects me profoundly.