Interesting Times: An Encounter With the 20th Century 1924-

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I was privileged to know George as a mentor and as a friend; he was central to who I became, both as a person and as a professional. I thank him and Jean for so many fond memories, lessons, and laughter. George and his colleagues had founded the psychology department a few years earlier. He was shaping it to be a leading institution in the revolutionary new area of cognitive psychology. Everything at UCSD was new and up-to-date. We tested subjects on a cutting-edge PDP-8 computer that was the size of a jumbo refrigerator. We used portable calculators as large as paperback books.

We carried stacks of IBM cards to the university mainframe for big analyses. We were in awe of our professors and our peers; we felt like pioneers. George watched over us with benevolent bemusement. George mentored by steering our research in the general direction of the organization of memory, making sure everyone knew what the others were doing, and encouraging us to go at it.

A dozen years later, I was fortunate to become a founding faculty member and administrator at a new campus in the California State University system. I did my best to secure support for the division, set a general direction, made sure everyone knew what the others were doing, and got out of the way. It was then that I understood the thrill of building a new institution from scratch, and perhaps why George seemed to take such delight in his world at UCSD.

We first spent proper time with George when we went to visit him and his wife Jean at their house in San Diego in about I was 11, Anna must have been 8, and we had a lot of fun together. We explored their house, with its extensive collection of B. Traven books, abstract art, and swathes of classy beige and brown leather, evoking s academia and lives of active contemplation and cultural acquisition. How about you adopt a couple? We could be that for you. We, in return, promised to tell them how our exams were going, ask them for help with difficult homework, and send them birthday cards.

They were delighted, and we all signed with joy. That contract is somewhere in our attic, and most of the agreements were never met. However, from that day forth, George and Jean invited us to call them Opa and Granny, and we would always refer to them as our adopted Jewish grandparents. The last time we saw George, we went to lunch around the corner from their house in Hampstead. We were talking about their travels I had always marveled at their Alaskan and Amazonian cruises and their other exciting ways of getting around the world and I asked George what his No.

He said it was too difficult to pick just one, and the conversation moved on. George was never interested in mathematical cognition; nevertheless, he published with Billie Jo Shebo an important and influential paper in on subitizing. What he was really interested in was the limits of conscious experience, and subitizing provided a classical route to study this. For readers who, like George, are not interested in mathematical cognition, I quote their characterization of subitizing, which, unlike many modern papers, notes its relationship with the limits of consciousness.

They noted that this process, different from counting and estimating, was restricted to arrays with 6 or fewer elements. Ever since the general awareness of some such process in the nineteenth century, the phenomenon has been a benchmark for the limited capacity of human consciousness. This paper is important for several reasons. First, as the authors point out, the basic phenomenon of subitizing was observed more than years ago, well before Kaufman et al. George was a keen student of the history of psychology, and liked to remind people that important theoretical problems in psychology were not raised first in recent issues of Psychological Review.

The question arises as to why we should be rapid, confident, and accurate in reporting small numerosities, but not in reporting larger numerosities. Does this imply separate processing mechanisms? Kaufman et al. Second, it is currently widely, and fashionably, assumed that there are indeed two processes, but exactly what they are has given rise to several competing theories; however, as the paper points out,. They did not specify what that process might be. Some of the subsequent discussions in the literature might well have paid heed to the coiners of the term. Subitizing is defined by systematic changes in the slope for judgments of numerosity; it is not a concept disputable on theoretical grounds.

To assert that people do or do not subitize requires only a demonstration that certain discontinuities can or cannot be demonstrated in the data obtained from numerosity judgments. To determine what processes are involved during subitizing is indeed a theoretical enterprise, which Kaufman et al. Figure 1. The basic data cited by Mandler and Shebo from previous studies and from their own Experiment 1. Before I turn to the theories, it is worth noting three important methodological advances demonstrated in the paper.

First, the standard procedure for demonstrating subitizing is to ask participants to name the number of objects on a screen as in Figure 1. The naming time RT slope is relatively flat about 50 milliseconds per additional item for adults for numerosities less than or equal to four, and then it changes to a steeper slope about to milliseconds for numerosities greater than four. For numerosities greater than or equal to seven with exposure brief enough to prevent counting, the RT tends to an asymptote.

Mandler and Shebo, as well as Kaufman et al. Accurate measurement of the cognitive process will depend, in part, on how quickly each number word can be retrieved by the participant, and this will depend on the frequency of the word in the language — with the names of small numbers being more frequent than large numbers — and on how quickly the word activates a voice key, which will depend on the acoustic properties of the word. The study involved a separate experiment in which participants named a digit presented on the screen and RTs to the number of dots were adjusted in the light of this because some number names just take longer to retrieve and to activate the voice key.

The reasoning was as follows:. Such a strategy would be different from that used for arrays of 4 or more. These canonical patterns develop slowly during childhood, such that 5-year-olds apparently have adopted the twoness pattern but not yet the triplet triangular pattern. Random presentation of displays of 2 and 3 will always produce the canonical pattern for 2 and frequently the canonical triangle for 3. If there is a canonical pattern for four-ness[,] it presumably is a square array, but random generation will not frequently produce such a pattern.

For arrays with more than 6 elements, postexposure counting fails and estimating procedures are substituted. Figure 2. This hypothesis was tested and supported by showing the effect of practice with novel arrays, such as the larger arrays in Figure 2. This pattern-recognition hypothesis has informed studies with typical children, typical adults, and with atypical participants. Not everyone shows a subitizing effect or an advantage for canonical arrays, and this in itself is interesting and revealing about individual differences in cognition: In particular, individuals may have a severe disability in learning arithmetic because they suffer a core deficit in extracting number from sets of objects, a precondition for understanding cardinal concepts.

In a more systematic study, the advantage for canonical stimuli is smaller or even absent with developmental dyscalculics DDs. A low subitizing limit was almost always associated with a right-hemisphere lesion. The third methodological advance is very straightforward but rarely applied. It is that the changes of slope depend on exposure time. If you allow observers enough time to count, they will, and the change of slope will begin at about four items. With brief exposure especially if the display is followed by a mask , counting is suppressed, or at least, discouraged, and then the change may happen later.

Also with brief exposure, increases in set size beyond six scarcely affect the slope at all, as can be seen in Figure 1. Recently, subitizing has been identified as a core resource in the development in the concept of cardinal number. Fuson, summarizing an extensive body of research, writes:. Fuson, , p. More recently, it has been proposed that humans start with two separate core systems, one for small numbers and one for large numbers. The hypothesis of two core systems raises the question of how children are able to link what they know from the small number system to what they know from the large approximate system.

Nevertheless, there does seem to be a relationship between subitizing and the development of number competence and arithmetic. Thus, there is a practical educational implication: This very simple test of subitizing is a reliable indicator of which children are likely to struggle to learn arithmetic. This still leaves open the question of exactly what the subitizing mechanism is. For small numerosities, objects are preattentively identified in parallel, but larger numerosities are enumerated sequentially in a way that demands attention.

This is why in their series of studies exposure time for the displays is systematically manipulated to promote estimating and discourage counting, or, in other exposure conditions, to enable counting. More recently, this preattentive account has been called into question.

We have demonstrated two quite different mechanisms to explain the subitizing phenomenon by dividing the positively accelerated slope of reaction times into a combination of acquired canonical patterns and counting of the array held in consciousness. Only up to 6 or 7 discrete events can be held in consciousness and counted. Larger arrays cannot be so maintained and the accuracy of counting suffers; estimation is substituted for it. The shallow, or often flat, slope of reaction times for arrays of 1 to 3 items seems to be explained by acquired canonical patterns.

As we noted earlier, a similar suggestion was made by Woodworth and Schlosberg in The fact that canonical patterns for larger arrays could be acquired by our subjects and were responded to as quickly and as accurately as the smaller arrays supports this argument. However, we have suggested that instead of perceptive counting and inferential counting being available in addition to progressive incremental counting, the apparent perceptual apprehension of numerosity is probably also a case of inference.

If the counting mechanism operates on the conscious array in the same way that it operates on the physically presented array, then the slope for reaction times in arriving at numerosity judgments should be similar under the two conditions. So subitizing was, in a sense, a classical approach to this issue.

The final paragraph in the paper, however, was about mathematical cognition and not about the limits of consciousness:. Thus, one of the next steps in the use of the subitizing paradigm will be to study the effect of visual, auditory, and more general cognitive interference tasks on the cognition of numerosity. The distinction between the canonical pattern process and mental counting will make it possible to study interference and, indirectly, the use of general-purpose resources as they affect and are affected by these two processes separately.

Anobile, G. Number as a primary perceptual attribute: A review. Arp, S. What impairs subitizing in cerebral palsied children? Developmental Psychobiology, 47 , 89— Arrighi, R. A generalized sense of number. Ashkenazi, S. Do subitizing deficits in developmental dyscalculia involve pattern recognition weakness? This book is an autobiographical account of George Mandler--born in who grew up in a middle class Jewish family in Vienna.

It details the fears and attempts to find a safe haven when Austria was invaded and absorbed into Nazi Germany in , followed by Mandler's escape to England and residence in a small boarding school. The threat of the holocaust and reaction to anti-semitism are explored and the author describes the life of an emigre youth group run by a branch of the Austrian communist party. Drafted in , Mandler is trained in military intelligence and ends up as a front line interrogator with the 7th army in Germany.

The training and function of military intelligence and the role of German and Austrian refugees in it are described for the first time in detail. Military intelligence and counter-intelligence work in post-war Germany follows, including the evacuation of a scientific establishment before the arrival of the Soviets. This is followed by graduate training in psychology at Yale and a first position at Harvard for seven years. Highlights of the period include a short episode of peripheral involvement in a Soviet spy scandal.

After five years at the University of Toronto, Mandler is given the opportunity of a lifetime--to start a department at the prestigious new San Diego branch of the University of California. He describes the process of building a department and a university in the context of the s, as well as academic life and actions during the turbulent 60s and 70s. The final chapter comments on and describes current academic life and problems.

In this autobiography psychologist George Mandler gives the reader a sense of growing up in central Europe in the early 20th century, some communication of the dread and horror of the holocaust, a brief picture of emigre life and some of its politics, the recollections of the war he deemed important, and a picture of the American academy as it looks from the inside.

Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Psychology Press, Condition: New. More information about this seller Contact this seller. Condition: Brand New. In the evening we had a smallish supper; when our parents went out, it was usually an omelette, pancake, sausages, or the like. In between, there was time for a rather significant amount of homework. If our parents stayed in for dinner, they would often later go out to meet their friends at their habitual Stamm coffee house.

On weekends, we often used the summer weather as an excuse for an excursion, or in the winter, to go skiing with friends, or—a great treat—for an automobile spin in the country. Just as much of the Austrian version of German, it incorporated many French words the influence of a French-speaking Imperial court? Despite much adjustment to the normative Hochdeutsch high German , my German speech today is still clearly identified as Austrian. All of this gives the correct impression of an eventful but unstressful childhood.

I was a typical well-behaved little boy. My mother, known like most Viennese mothers as Mutti, used to tell the story of being able to leave me standing at a door or corner when shopping in a department store, and she would be sure that I would still be there when she came back. I never got into fights, nor did I make my parents unusually angry or unhappy.

Punishments, usually slaps in the face, were dealt out by my mother. For a man who impressed many people as authoritarian, my father was very gentle, never really punished us, and certainly never physically. I seemed always to be well behaved, though I wonder now whether that was me or a general characteristic of middle-class Jewish boys. Was it me or my culture? Essentially, I believe it started in with my emigration when I was alone and to some great extent dependent on myself.

I missed the adolescence that might have provided a more traditional transition. There were some anxious events that marked those years. One was the continuous awareness of the Germans being next door starting in when I was nine. Others included participating in the boycott of German goods I remember in particular the boycott of Bayer aspirin , and being aware of the sometimes bloody struggle between the socialists and the right-wing state and city governments.

The burning of the Justizpalast in —six days after the birth of my sister—is my earliest memory of a political event. They illustrate no particular theme except the mysteries of memory, and I cite a few here to convey a sense of the times. Viennese were not great ice cream eaters, usually preferring Italian gelato. But at one time there was a rumor going around Vienna about vanilla ice cream making people sick and my mother told me unequivocally that I must not eat it—I have barely eaten any since.

What's the meaning of the phrase 'May you live in interesting times'?

When quite little, I read in a newspaper I feel I have been reading papers all my life that a lion had jumped from a movie screen into the audience. At some time, I read that shipments of bananas sometimes become hiding places for poisonous spiders, and one should be careful when buying bananas. That one is remembered but had no effect—I love bananas. The family came from Senica and Chropov, small towns in southwest Slovakia. Senica, where my father was born, was a typical amalgam of the Habsburg empire. The townspeople were Slovak and that was the language of the town, but during the time my father was going to school, the administration was under the aegis of the Hungarians and Hungarian was the language of the schools.

The history of the Czech and Slovak Jews is complex. The earliest Jewish settlers apparently came from Rome and Byzantium, with a small influx from Germany during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when the Jews who were expelled from Germany typically went east.

There was a continuing movement of both Jewish and non-Jewish Germans into Bohemia and Moravia the current Czech Republic , particularly during the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. The Mandlers came from Moravia, and the oldest ancestor for whom I have any documents was Emanuel Mandler, who was born in Straznice then Strassnitz in Moravia in and then moved to Chropov in Slovakia.

The Czech lands were to some extent bilingual, German and Czech, and the Jews in particular had a German linguistic heritage. The move into Poland and Russia had created the Yiddish community of the shtetl with its own language that had developed from its Middle High German roots. In contrast, the Slovak and Czech Jews spoke contemporary German at home rather than the new Yiddish derivative of older German.

He spoke German at home, Slovak in town, and Hungarian in school. In , a constitutional compromise between Austria and Hungary made Magyar the official language and the only language of instruction in Hungarian and therefore Slovak schools. Of course, he spoke German at home and in business in Vienna. One of my great grandmothers was Maria Reiniger, and Maria is an unusual name for devout Jewish families. A granduncle was named Herbert Joachim—again unusual, especially in the midst of Slovak culture.

All this bespeaks the continuing dominance of German in these Jewish families. The lack of any family traditions in assigning names led to my father to choose my name because of his regard for David Lloyd George, the British prime minister until But more miraculous was the other myth: that one of my great uncles or great great uncles had invented the bicycle.

I know no more than that. My grandfather, Simon Mandler, ran a leather and accessory shop in Senica, with his family living in the house upstairs. I remember him as a tall gaunt figure; he died at 76 when I was still very young. There were three sons and a daughter in addition to my father, Richard. My uncle Kornel was sent to medical school, and he and his wife survived the war by hiding in Budapest, where I last saw him in Alois called Louis , the oldest, went to Vienna, the imperial capital, around the turn of the century and started a leather business.

My father left school in at age 14 and in , was apprenticed to a leather wholesaler in Vienna. The business consisted of buying finished hides from tanneries and selling them to manufacturers, as well as buying raw hides and having them tanned to specifications, often for specialty uses. I learned a little of the process from visits with my father to tanneries and his storerooms, and I carry with me the familiarity of the smell of leathers.

More attractive was the fact that we were never short of leather luggage and accessories, both in Vienna and later in New York. Louis and his wife and two children, Hans and Lotte, ended up in Israel. Hans, some 15 years older than I, had emigrated to Palestine as it was then in the early s and was able to bring his parents there.

He was a travel agent there in the s though after his death the family intimated that he had been a Mossad agent. Lotte married a Rumanian and later moved to Israel. He and his wife and two daughters were eventually murdered in the camps. In October , my paternal grandfather wrote in his will in German script : My dear children, son-in-law and daughters-in-law. The house goes to Moritz, who had stayed with the family business in Senica, but he then noted that if any of the others insisted on their share of the house, Moritz may pay out a limited amount.

The shares are to be distributed among all the children. Then followed instructions on the apartment and the business furniture, and so on, and the disposition of his ring to Kornel, who gave it to me in There is a postscript saying that he would understand if, for urgent reasons, his sons were not always able to say Kaddish prayer for the dead for him. My father had been intended for a career in law, but he preferred to go to the big city and follow his brother Louis into the leather business.

From through , he was conscripted into the Austrian army and assigned to the signal corps on the Italian front. I remember being fascinated as a young boy by the fact that he could still transcribe morse code on the radio with ease. His basic gentleness was illustrated by his World War I pistol holder always being filled with candies partly because he did not want to carry a gun.

After the war, the dissolution of the AustroHungarian empire meant that people had to opt for one or another citizenship, and in , with my father now well settled in Vienna, he opted for Austrian citizenship. It was in Vienna during this time that he met the daughter of a customer, Hedwig known as Hede Goldschmied. There is no resolution of documentary confusion as to whether the spelling was Goldschmied or Goldschmidt or Goldschmiedt.

Interesting Times An Encounter With The 20th Century 1924

They had five children: my mother; another daughter, Grete, who married a Czech store owner; Hugo Taussig; and three sons, Jaroslav Jaro , Otto, and Ernst. Family lore, and the eventual failure of the business, suggested that none of them was a particularly good business man. The Vienna factory was closed during or shortly after World War I, and Oskar and his three sons and their families moved to Poland. By the time I remember him, the enterprise had been reduced to the Cracow Poland factory, which had the advantage that a couple of times my mother took my sister and me on a train ride to visit Poland and our grandparents and other family there.

Eventually, the Cracow factory also failed, and the family moved back to Vienna in the mids. Oskar was prominent in Zionist politics and activities, but, despite my strong attachment to him, I never thought about Jewish homelands nor was I attracted to the fervent and often radical Zionist groupings popular among many Jewish young people in Vienna such as the sometimes terrorist BETAR organization founded by the radical Zionist Z.

My grandfather, when able, was a philanthropist of sorts and particularly interested in orphans, one of whom—Lee Lunzer—became part of our extended family. Oskar was also an avid art collector and, during his more prosperous days, an art patron. Part of his art collection consisted of paintings given to him by young artists whom he had helped out. The collection was given to a non-Jewish acquaintance for safekeeping at the beginning of the deportations, but the recipient denied any knowledge of it after the war. This was a not unusual occurrence, and there were undoubtedly fortunes in art and jewelry stolen by people who had originally been trusted.

That piece of post-war Nazi dastardliness was bad enough; it also contributed further upset to some members of the family who told tales of Klimts and Schieles being included in the collection. I loved my grandfather dearly; he was wise and funny and supportive. He was the only one who was told of my clandestine activities after the German occupation in I thought I should tell somebody and his response was that one had to do what one felt impelled to do—as long as I was very careful.

Oskar escaped the worst excesses of the Nazis and died in Vienna of diabetes in January One of his brothers, Richard, emigrated to the United States in , having been sought by the authorities for his socialist activities. Their mother, my great grandmother, was born Flora Pick, but in , when in England, I approached a Pick relative, well settled in London, for possible help for our families, I never received a reply.

My grandmother was a little lady of great warmth and dignity; she survived Theresienstadt and joined our family in New York after the war. There she lived a quiet life and died in her early eighties in —the day my first wife and I had decided to separate. My mother grew up as the good daughter of an upper-middle class Jewish Viennese family—essentially waiting to get married. One of the remembered high points of that life was a putative courtship by the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

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Her brother, Otto, who had aspirations to the upper class life and went riding and took up fencing, ended up in Shanghai during the war. There he established a dental supply business that he continued in San Francisco after the war. Jaroslav Jaro stayed in the family shoe manufacturing business and was deported with his family to Auschwitz.

Their children, Suse and Hanne, were the cousins I was closest to and they lived with us for a period in I write about their tragic end in the next chapter. In , these great and wonderful girl cousins 14 to 17 years old introduced me to the joys of sex, with bare-assed cuddles and feelings and stroking in bed late at night—often three of them and I.

There I found out for the first time that the vagina was not, as I had imagined, in front! Other, less passionate, joys included sometimes being permitted to sit at the cash register in the store and, having learned to count in Czech, being permitted to accept payments and make change. I learned a few words of Czech there just as I learned my few words of Hungarian from visits to my uncle Kornel in Budapest. Kornel was known in the family as Onkel Tetanus after, on a visit to Vienna, he gave my sister a tetanus shot following her fall on trolley tracks in the Prater.

Grete and all of her family were murdered in the camps. My parents were married in In , my mother gave birth to a girl whose umbilical chord strangled her; she died within three days. Three years later, I was born and in , my sister Trude. My mother never made much of the loss of the first child; they had wanted two children and eventually they got them.

My father was quiet, somewhat reserved with a strong distaste for pretension and phoniness Hochstaplerei , but had a fine sense of humor. My father had the occasional affair, my mother had one but a long lasting one , generally par for inter-war Vienna. A very sorry attitude that I saw still alive in a left-wing old friend who had returned to Vienna and who complained in the s of the influx of polnische Jews. My sister and I were very close and continued to be so for another 25 years.

I am not quite sure why some girls were sent to private schools other than it was the thing to do. I never heard of any private schools for boys; public education was superb and was so in my own postprimary school, which was coeducational albeit in separate classes.

There were several daughters there from our social acquaintances. Trudi emigrated to Italy with my parents in , where they lived in Milan until early Trudi went to Italian schools and was young enough to be speaking Italian fluently when she came to New York. In February , they sailed for New York. Like other refugees from the Holocaust, I have an extended family spread by flight from the Nazis all over the world—not counting the ones of which I know nothing.

On a visit to California some years ago, Roni treated me as the pater familias of the Mandlers. Even though I have few specific memories, I did enjoy primary school the Kolonitz school from through Classes were separated by sex, most if not all teachers were male, and they stayed with you throughout the four years. I had thought that the classes were relatively small, but a count of my class picture of shows 37 boys.

Given that the education was first rate, this suggests that class size is not necessarily a crucial factor. My teacher was Herr Joseph Jax, a kind and wise man, whom we adored and who clearly was a fine and successful teacher. He had a knack of telling little stories to illustrate bigger issues. I only remember one he used to illustrate a relevant physiological function: the story of a man who was painted with gold paint all over and suffocated.

I enjoyed school and did well, but I am mostly amnesic for that whole period. I recall few friends and no path that brought me from home about six blocks to school, nor did going back to the school many years later engender more than a feeling of familiarity.

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There was a curious fascination, though not that unusual for a nine-year old in the latency period, that one of my schoolmates was really a girl. I vaguely remember an extensive examination including writing an essay, and very stressful days or weeks, waiting anxiously for the results. If not, one went into the four-year Hauptschule, which did not.

I said Gymnasium-type school because there were three kinds available: the classical Gymnasium with required Latin and Greek; the Realgymnasium with only Latin required and with, I believe, French as a second language; and the Realschule with no classical language required, French required, and emphasis on science and mathematical preparation. Because by that time my father had suggested decided that I would be happiest studying chemistry in preparation for becoming a chemist in a tannery and taking over the family business, Realschule was for me.

The waiting for the results of the examination ended in disappointment for some of my friends from primary school who soon disappeared from my life, victims of a one-shot examination scheme. I enrolled in the nearest Realschule in Joseph Gall Gasse. By this time, we had moved to the apartment overlooking the Danube Kanal.

Much of the time was spent talking with friend Hans on the bridge while returning home, where my mother could see me from our little balcony as she and lunch waited patiently or otherwise. I thrived in the Realschule. Our teachers were mostly Ph. The school was coeducational as we used to say with boys and girls in separate classes.

As we moved from 11 to 14 years old and into puberty, we became increasingly interested in our female colleagues and because classrooms were used by both sexes of course, messages of love and devotion were left and exchanged in and under school desks.

I recall some of our teachers: Herr Rommel no relation , who taught German and French and was our class teacher, was a dour ascetic man of knowledge but little empathy. There was also a teacher of geography and history—a rabid Austrian patriot and anti-German supporter of Prinz Starhemberg, the leader of the Heimwehr, the crypto-fascist private army that supported the corporate state. I remember a lecture of his on military tactics in which he pointed out that if the Germans ever invaded Austria through the Berchtesgaden gap, the Austrian army could cut them off and isolate and annihilate the invaders.

Thus was the nature of self-delusion in this little country of 7 million. Because Latin was not obligatory in a Realschule, I had the opportunity to take Latin as an elective, taught by a young man nicknamed Populus, who made the subject fun and interesting. I am still glad that I took that course. We were taught and had to use two different kinds of handwriting—the old German Kurrentschrift also known as gothic and the generally used Lateinschrift, the latter the usual handwriting in Western countries.

The former had to be used for all lessons and exercises in German language and literature. It was in fact the preferred handwriting mode in Germany and Austria. Years later, I would still get letters written entirely in the old mode. Fountain pens were around but not yet permitted in my school. In contrast to other countries, there were no school uniforms or a dress code—though this was a time when such was not needed. We did, of course, go home for the midday meal, the major meal of the day.

I assume that this assured a relatively tight catchment area for each school. There was relatively little fighting and no bullying—in part consonant with the idea that these schools were for the elite. Even though our school drew on a partly working-class neighborhood, this did not affect these attitudes. There were no organized sports in the schools. We regularly played student-initiated soccer in the school yard, but there was nothing organized about these games and, of course, no interschool competition at all.

Occasionally we went on excursions into the surrounding countryside and even on one or two train rides to see more of the country—I remember one big trip to Graz. Politically, there was relatively little activity or pressure from the corporate structure of the Schuschnigg regime, just one 24 u CHAPTER 1 or two command appearances at rallies at the major Vienna stadium the Stadion. Apart from that, political discussions were fairly free though superficial. I do not believe that there was any organized activity by the government to inquire into or restrict political opinions—short of outspoken attempts at criticism, or advocating drastic change or joining prohibited organizations.

I should note that this applied to schoolchildren—the VF government did maintain detention camps for socialists and communists. It was in these four years that I met my closest friend of many years, Hans Matzka, his sister Susie, and his admirable mother Bibi. Massarek fascinated me. He was a left-wing playwright who continued to write and have his plays performed in Germany under a variety of pseudonyms. Massarek reportedly disappeared in the Soviet Union during or after the war. The Matzka family gave me the background of left-wing politics that was missing at home and we became good friends.

I still treasure a set of drawings of Vienna that Bibi gave me. Hans and I continued our association in New York in the Austrian youth organization, and Susie and I became good friends. She died of cancer many years ago, but she came to La Jolla once and introduced us to her daughter and family, Wendy and Patrick Austin, with whom we have enjoyed a continuing friendly association.

Hans eventually became managing editor at Plenum Press, from whence he retired in Walter Starer was another of the four Jewish students in my class. The fourth was Heinz Fast with whom I had been in primary school. After that March, we were now generally ostracized, and we became a close group. In September , shortly before I left Vienna, Hans, Walter, and I were walking along the Kanal when we made a pact—we would meet in 10 years at the same spot.

Such was the optimism of the young. My mother, the daughter of an agnostic Zionist, had no religious beliefs but kept a more or less kosher household. I would guess the total congregation numbered quite a bit less than His brother-in-law, Findler, went there as well as some other acquaintances from Slovakia. I went to synagogue with my father and remember with warmth the longish walk from our home to the synagogue, often with uncles or relatives. I have one peculiar association with my visits to the synagogue.

Exactly opposite the building that housed the small synagogue was the Basiliskenhaus, dating from the thirteenth century. And every time I came out of the synanogue, there was the Basilisk facing me. Whereas I had a primitive belief in an all powerful God and would sometimes be known to ask Him for favors, I never took to the ritual and paraphernalia of religion. When away from home, I did not follow dietary laws or engage in ritual prayer. My Bar Mitzvah in was a major family occasion. Preparation by the celebrant started many months earlier.

I was given a special tutor, a near-rabbi, whom I disliked for his insistence on orthodoxy and indistinct speech, who taught me my portion of the Torah to be sung and the accompanying commentary to be read thereafter. I was fitted for my first blue suit and other appropriate accoutrements, and my mother started making plans for the home festivities. Then there was the conflict between my father and my maternal grandfather Oskar.

Rita E. Anderson

My father, of course, wanted the celebration to be held in his little synagogue. My grandfather saw himself as having some social obligations or pretensions, as my father would have put it and also I was his only grandson. He insisted on the major old Viennese synagogue in the Seitenstettengasse with the Viennese chief rabbi officiating. In the end, my immediate family lost out in one sense because—it being Saturday—we had to walk, and it was quite a hike back and forth.

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I was inundated with presents, but remember only the one most precious to me, a Kodak Retina 35mm camera, which eventually was lost on the beach in Coney Island. One of the better aspects of the Jewish religion that I experienced was that, in contrast to much of Christianity, there is little in the way of threats of damnation or post-terminal punishment—in fact no talk really of an afterlife. I wonder sometimes why I was for so long in dread of not being a believer and paying due respect to God—in the end it was probably fatherly and familial identification and the God I feared was my father.

It took me until a serious lung operation in to break loose. Before going to the operating room I solemnly said, to myself, that I would come through this ordeal on my own, that I would do it without asking God for help, and that my survival would prove that I did not need Him. And so it was. And with Jean equally an atheist, we brought up two quite morally proper atheistic sons. POLITICS My earliest memory of a direct political identification was during the brief violent confrontation between the Austrian corporate quasi-fascist state and the socialist paramilitaries in the early s.

Fighting broke out primarily in and around the Vienna city housing projects—an exemplary product of the socialist city administration. One of these building was just two blocks from our apartment house and we could hear the guns and explosions. At one point—with shooting going on around us—I offered, to the horror of my mother, to go to the store and get some needed bread and other supplies. Whence came that particular piece of rather untypical heroism, I know not—nor do I know of a repetition later in life. Otherwise, I recall some of the more outstanding political events, such as the assassination of Engelbert Dollfuss by Austrian Nazis in When Austrians still voted, there was no question but that my parents were voting social democratic—the only real possibility for Viennese Jews in the face of a tradition of the previous anti-Semitic administrations led by the Catholic conservatives and as exemplified by the Viennese mayor in the s, Karl Lueger.

After the accession of Dollfuss, followed by Kurt Schuschnigg, the regime imposed its repressive policies and structure, but did not require active political participation in its single-party regime. Apart from the usual anti-Semitism, it had no particular position toward the Austrian Jews. It did however crack down on active socialists and communists who were confined in detention camps. I will warn the reader probably in vain not to take talk of communism and communists in succeeding pages from the stark American point of view and sometimes hardened Cold War attitudes.

For Europeans, Communism was a legitimate, though in part feared and despised, political movement. Voting for and with communists was not necessarily seen as a sell-out to Soviet imperialism. In fact, European communists in Italy and elsewhere were often less Moscow-dominated than the hide-bound American party. Even today, in France, Italy, and elsewhere, communists are often accepted as legitimate politicians.

In summary, I would say that the liberal, socialist, statist attitudes of the Austrian social democrats successors of the Austro—Marxist tradition influenced my political thinking for the rest of my life. In a more general sense, my political awareness was shaped by being part of Mitteleuropa—a concept that went out of fashion after World War II, but is now coming back to describe the peculiar atmosphere of politics and nationalism that is centered around Austria, the Czech Republic, parts of Italy, Germany, and Poland. One embarrassing deviation from my leftish politics, but probably dictated by central European attitudes, was my behavior during the Italian—Abyssinian war.

Guided by benighted geopolitical thinking which I probably thought quite sophisticated , I not only supported the Italians but had battle maps in my room with pins showing the relative positions of the opposing armies. Similar thoughts buoyed me up during the months preceding the Anschluss when newspaper reports spoke of Italian troop concentrations at the Brenner pass against the possibility of a German incursion into Austria. Vienna was rife with rumors of the impending intervention by the Italians. Reality, of course, was different. As a middle-class Jew, it was infrequent, but not unusual, to have non-Jewish friends; middle-class gentiles or Jews habitually did not do that.

As a result, all of my close friends were Jewish. But these were the exceptions and typically were related to the absence of middle-class pretensions, as at my Realschule, which served a lower-middle and working class catchment area. Well into college I never failed to wonder how deep or sincere the friendships of non-Jews were. I think that it eventually took my wife, Jean, and my friend, Willi, to eliminate completely the expectation that non-Jews always reserved some basic anti-Semitic sentiments.

I never thought about the sources of those sentiments, nor really did I wonder at their irrationality—they too were facts of life. And unspoken anti-Semitism was, after all, better than the Viennese experience of the occasional spitting of the label Jude as an epithet. In school, there was the same background anti-Semitism and nothing worse. In primary school, before age 10 there was, as is usual with younger children, practically none that I can remember.

And in secondary school, in the Realschule, relations in my class between Jews and non-Jews were remarkably calm—if there were any anti-Semitic outbursts they were forgettably minor. I remember no major anti-Semitic disturbance during the nearly four years and would have forgotten minor anti-Semitic remarks as being part of the Viennese scene.

Everybody knew who the Nazis were, and the one tapped to be their underground leader, class leader Joseph Pipsi Glaninger, emerged in March as a proud and pronounced little Nazi. Sometimes I wondered about the more obscure contents of anti-Semitic belief. Thus, it is mendacious and malicious, but not weird, to call Jews capitalists or communists , to accuse them of being filthy rich or poor and filthy , or to ascribe to them dreams of world power. But it is surely weird to accuse them of using the blood of Christian children to bake their Passover bread.

It is a most peculiar libel that has been thrust on the Jews—usually in a 30 u CHAPTER 1 disconnected way as something that was true in the past, done by unmentionable Jewish characters. As late as the s, the English writer, G. Chesterton, still believed in the ritual murder myth. My school experience in Vienna was that, most of the time, there was little more than a background of anti-Semitic expression. In my school, the few Jewish students were recognized as such, sometimes verbally insulted, but the teachers did not treat us differently from the rest.

However, the advent of the Nazi regime legitimized latent beliefs that could be openly expressed by many of my co-students, but there was a respectable number who did not participate in the exercise of Nazi power. When Jews accept anti-Semitism as a unchanging aspect of the social world, they frequently have an irrational reaction, which I sometimes shared. The tendency is to look for Jews in the world of science, entertainment, and sports, to credit achievements and position. Thus, one would and still does recognize Jewish names in movie credits, sports teams, and Nobel prizes. In my current family it has developed into a standing joke of assigning daily troubles such as red traffic lights to anti-Semitism.

Being singled out for special attention as a Jew, I had never understood the meaning of being the chosen people chosen for pogroms and holocausts. I have now convinced my wife and some of my friends that what God really meant was that it made it easier for Jews to find parking spaces—certainly, I seem to be lucky in this respect.

Goldstein appears before a judge and asks that his name be changed to something like Jones or Smith.

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He justifies his request by relating that all the people in his business are goyim and, as the only obvious Jew, he has trouble making a living. The judge assents and Mr. Smith goes home. Six months later, he is back in the same court. Now what? Coming to America, I had a moment of personal insight about American racism. African Americans suffer more severely economically and socially, but I think it quite meaningless to compare and measure persecutions and prejudice. It was clear to me then that Blacks must feel about White Americans and their attitudes as we felt about non-Jewish Europeans.

One result of that view was that I have never understood how a Jew could ever share the racism of American society. Except for the very last months before the German invasion, the anti-Semitism that I and my family experienced had no aspect of a gathering storm. We lived relatively unharried, happy lives, considered ourselves good Austrians, and, for most of the time, were quite unprepared for what was to come.

Confrontations between Austria and Germany became more frequent and more intense. In , the Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss had replaced the democratic Austria with a corporate state, abolished elections, and proclaimed a one-party state. In part, it was an attempt to create strength in Austria to match the looming threats from the north and the one-party structure that was being established there. In any event, it created weakness by isolating the Austrian government from significant parts of the population. This encounter with authoritarian government was underlined a few years later.

I remember it as a strange experience, outside the real world. The first direct confrontation with the Austrian Nazis came later in when Dollfuss was killed by a group of Nazi conspirators who had stormed the Chancellery in the course of a failed putsch. In , Germany represented by Von Papen and Austria concluded a security pact that was to guarantee Austrian independence. In the end, Germany demanded the inclusion of the Nazi puppet Seyss-Inquart in the government as minister of the interior. Then, in early March, Schuschnigg played his last card and called for a referendum on Austrian independence.

Germany reacted by threatening to invade if the plebiscite was not called off, so it was. There followed a Nazi-controlled government that called for German assistance and the German invasion followed. There was—despite the very large support for the Anschluss among the population at large—a significant number of Austrian patriots, ranging from some of the relatively tame fascists of the Dollfuss—Schuschnigg corporate state to the old center parties to the suppressed and illegal parties on the left.

The church was generally mute. In the few weeks before the German arrival, there were heady days as the Schuschnigg government tried to rally support from across the political spectrum and effectively lifted political suppression.