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In Praise of Cowardice

Emily Meg Weinstein | Longreads | December 18, 2017 | 5,522 words
Posted inEssays & Criticism, Featured, Nonfiction, Story

In Praise of Cowardice

Emily Meg Weinstein considers the ways in which her grandfather’s less than heroic choices in love and war led to her existence.
Emily Weinstein's ancestors

Emily Meg Weinstein | Longreads | December 2017 | 22 minutes (5,522 words)

For Ruth Weisenfeld Diamond (1921-2014) and Samuel Meyer Diamond (1919-2008)

I.

First, it came for my grandfather, then for my grandmother. Death comes for us all, but still Jews toast, l’chaim! To life!

When my mother and her brother cleaned out their dead parents’ apartment, they found their father’s Bronze Star from the war.

“Do you know what was in the box with the Bronze Star?” my mother asked me.

“A Nazi Iron Cross.”

“How did you know that?”

“Grandpa showed it to me a bunch of times.”

“Where did he get it?”

“Off a dead Nazi.”

That makes it sound like my grandfather killed the Nazi, but he didn’t. He never fired his gun, not once in the whole Allied advance.

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