News & Jews

How Could This Happen Explaining the Holocaust
    The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Historians have probed the many sources of this tragedy, but no account has united the various causes into an overarching synthesis that answers the vital question: How was such a nightmare possible in the heart of western civilization?
    In How Could This Happen, historian Dan McMillan distills the vast body of Holocaust research into a cogent explanation and comprehensive analysis of the genocide’s many causes, revealing how a once-progressive society like Germany could have carried out this crime. The Holocaust, he explains, was caused not by one but by a combination of factors—from Germany’s failure to become a democracy until 1918, to the widespread acceptance of antisemitism and scientific racism, to the effects of World War I, which intensified political divisions within the country and drastically lowered the value of human life in the minds of an entire generation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland.
    Persuasive and compelling, How Could This Happen explains how a perfect storm of bleak circumstances, malevolent ideas, and damaged personalities unleashed one of history’s most terrifying atrocities.
Available on Amazon.

A Tu B’Av Love Story
    Mazel tov to Florence and Bernie Garwin, Residents of Heritage Pointe who celebrated 75 years of marriage on August 9. Rabbi Karen Sherman and Cantor Arie Shikler held a tallit over the couple’s heads and offered a special anniversary blessing under a tallit at Shabbat services.
    Flo and Bernie met in Los Angeles in 1946. Bernie was so impressed with Flo’s white gloves; he had only seen them in the movies! He thought Flo was smart and beautiful. He liked that she was an artist. Flo thought Bernie was cute, and she was impressed that he owned his own wholesale produce business. Their first dates took them to an Al Jolson concert and an LA Rams football game.
    Bernie proposed to Flo one night in the car. The ring came later, since Flo’s father was in the diamond business. Bernie recalls with a smile: “We got the cutest little ring.” He remembers that she said yes and she cried. She was 20 at the time and he was 21.
    The couple’s 75 years have been filled with highs and lows. They struggled, and there were rough times. What got them through? Flo says: “He was a good man. He tried hard, but he was young and acted young. We both had to grow up.” When asked how long that growing up took, she laughs: “We’re still working on it!”
    The two are quite proud of their two sons and two grandsons.
    Their advice for a successful marriage? Bernie says: “Be prepared to give in. Let the other one be successful and be right. You can’t be right all the time.” Flo says: “Just talk things over.” They both agreed cheerfully that they like each other more now than they did back when they first married.



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