Friday, March 31, 2017

The Holocaust Diet

Hey, who's hungry? (Photo: Henryk Ross)
Growing up in a Jewish family, I heard about the Holocaust a lot. Like every day. The subject arose most often at meals when everyone was gathered around the table together, and possibly explains my lifelong love-hate relationship with food. I mean really, it's hard to stay focused on wolfing down some fabulous brisket with roasted potatoes while Granny reminisces about the Germans ("They should only drop dead!") making lampshades out of the skins of dead Jews. Agreed?

So excuse me if I'm not rushing to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts to see a new exhibit of recently unearthed photos of the inhabitants of Poland's Lodz Ghetto. Henryk Ross, one of two Jews given cameras to document daily life in the ghetto for use by the government as propaganda, surreptitiously took other pictures as well. A review in today's Wall Street Journal gives his show a hearty thumbs-up for the "timeless quality" of the photographs: "We look at Ross's subjects knowing terrible deaths await them and it gives them added dimension." There are pictures of the gallows. There are pictures of children in wagons being led to the killing fields. There are pictures of the starving people and carts of human feces being hauled for disposal. There are pictures of piles of the dead being taken to burial. Wow, good stuff!

Listen, we get it -- there was a mass killing in Germany back in the 1940s. Enough already. But for those of you reading this who don't get it, or don't believe it, like the two otherwise completely normal friends of mine who are still "on the fence" about whether or not the whole thing really happened, the exhibit runs through July 30 so you might want to check it out. Afterward you can experience the legendary Pizzeria Regina, a Boston institution just four miles away where the pizza is to die for. Go. Try to eat something.....

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