Short on Cash

“She wasn’t very nice,” my father said. “We were fundraising for the Haganah in New York, ┬ánot long after the war, and met with her, along with Herbert Marcuse and Max Horkheimer. ” Stunned, I asked, “Did you have any idea who you were talking to at the time?” Elie shrugged his shoulders, as though it wasn’t really important back then. “Marcuse, he was more of a gentleman. Arendt was a typical Berlinischer Jugend.”

I’ve been meaning to revisit this conversation with my dad for a while. I’ve been thinking a lot about this specific generation of German Jewish intellectuals since we arrived. Having written three theses on them (well, two, plus one incomplete dissertation), I’m having a lot of flashbacks, and have been repeatedly asking myself why their work meant to much to me when I was younger. I can’t say I feel any less fond of it now.