Friday, March 03, 2006

Family Mystery, Family Myths

What happens when everything you’ve been told about your family’s history turns out to be false? I recently made a documentary about it. I went from the US to Holland, England and Poland searching for the truth behind my family’s emigration. It is entitled: Family Mystery, Family Myth. You can click here to read the article and listen to the program in both Real and Windows Media formats.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Beth said...

well done Jonathan. However, I do have to take exception to the tone of the show. You seemed to want to dispell this myth of antisemitism of the area and feel you succeeded but I disagree. I believe that while those you interviewed tried to downplay it, they also did admit it existed and even mentioned specifics of what happened. It seems to me that in Poland and other countries at at that time including the US, there was institutionalized antisemitism and there most certainly seemed to exist an undercurrent of dislike at the very least. You don't have to be placed in a train and sent to a camp to know that you are not liked. Daily or common indignities can cause this feeling and this is probably what occurred. So as for the truth, I would tend to believe the people that actually lived at that time, then those of today who did not..

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Jonathan Groubert said...

First of all, thank you for your comment.

It seems clear to me that Theo Richmond was trying to dispell the mythology behind the level of persecution and add a layer of nuance. That is to say, of course there was antisemitism, but there was antisemitism everywhere;of course there were pogroms, but not in the west of Poland and not at that time. Richmond et al. wanted to make clear that people understand that the imperative to emigrate from Poland at that era had, more than anything, an economic base.


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