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Rewriting History

August 16, 2019

Institutions are inherently resistant to change. They may attempt to bury or rewrite the truth. They blame the victim, pressuring them to just get over it. They accuse victims of being overly emotional, inaccurate, malicious, uncivilized, violent, or liars. Institutions may perform efforts toward justice and ultimately kill them with inaction or through drawn-out processes of bureaucracy.


The Purpose of Memory

July 26, 2019

We have said and believed “never again.” Yet now, there are concentration camps at the U.S. border.


What My Son Learned at School: Antisemitism Comes Home

February 4, 2019
Rosa Moldovan, my great grandmother, teaches my aunt, Erika Goldberger, at home on a chalk board. Jewish students were barred from school during the Nazi regime.

The alarm has been sounding for a long time. And now, it won’t give me a moment’s peace. It sounds like dirty Jew and fucking Jew and kill all Jews. I hear my son sobbing, why does everybody hate me. I see the spider arms of a swastika, black on blood red. I hear, this isn’t going to go away no matter what we do. These words circle in my head. And the longer they do, the more determined I become to stop what I’ve been told will happen again, to stand up every time I’m told to sit down.


Antisemitism is a Tool of Tyrants

November 2, 2018

As uncomfortable as it may be, we must all face the horror of hate. No one is exempt from this responsibility. No matter how seemingly small the effort, we must stand against hate and stand up for one another.


Grief and Celebration

October 30, 2018

Right now, we—or at least, I—need the gleaming memory of the First Czechoslovak Republic, a democracy founded and led by an idealistic, intelligent, and remarkably good human being. His power came from conviction, idealism, and, yes, love—the most enduring power there is.


“Women Shall Be Placed On an Equal Footing With Men”

September 28, 2018

As we witness brazen disdain for human decency and contempt for the core values of democracy, where can we turn to sustain and support our spirits? As we watch institutionalized corruption, oppression, and persecution breed suffering and chaos, what do we hold onto?


Dedicated to Toronto

April 23, 2018

Moments ago, I was about to sit down to write another installment about my trip to Toronto in February. But first, I checked the news. Only a few hours ago, a white van jumped the curb and struck a number of pedestrians near Yonge and Finch, in north Toronto. They don’t know yet how many are dead. I pictured the busy streets of the city, the gray pavement of the…


Meeting Magocsi

March 12, 2018

Elation is the best word to describe my discovery of my great Uncle Stefan’s connection with renowned scholar Paul Robert Magocsi. I recently met Professor Magocsi at the University of Toronto. Learn more in my latest blog post about our conversation and about the biography I’m writing about Stefan, an epic of escape and survival before, during, and after the Holocaust.


Constant Vigilance

January 26, 2018

Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These are my handsome great uncles in 1951 Vienna with their 1934 BMW. Seven years earlier, they hid in holes in the ground left by uprooted trees while Nazis searched for them with bloodhounds.   The Nazis had put a bounty on both of their heads, determined to capture the brothers, who had cunningly escaped. The man who hid them in the woods, Ilya…


“Truth Prevails” and Other Exotic Ideals

December 13, 2017

My great uncle Stefan Moldovan was born into nascent Czechoslovakia, a democracy founded on high ideals by a leader, T.G. Masaryk, known for his integrity, intelligence, and ethics. His country’s motto, “Truth Prevails,” reveals much about his aspirations for his nation and humanity as a whole. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh Two agreements key to the formation of the First Czechoslovak Republic were signed in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The Pittsburgh Agreement of 1918…



My Great Uncle Stefan
My Great Uncle Stefan
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