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By Janos Thuroczy

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A professor was engaged. I cannot remember how long he was teaching Meir but my brother was always reading, writing, studying, visiting museums, libraries, and bringing home books, books, books. He also played the violin but he did not have much time for it. He was a linguistic genius, he knew 7 languages. ”12 In his memoirs, probably composed during the 1930s in the Soviet Union and not published until 1969, Wiener somewhat derisively recalls the fascination of the Jewish youth of Cracow with the new cultural currents: Sometimes there was a heated conversation about the Baal-Shem and Hasidism.

In the street, she raises her voice, as if she were at home, draws attention to herself, laughs boorishly, flirts with each passerby, regardless of who he may be, and demonstrates very little decency and human dignity. I often have the opportunity to observe Jewish women here and, unfortunately, much of what I am writing to you too often corresponds to the truth. Even when the worst-behaved lout on the street speaks with her, she does not hesitate to respond, especially when he is not a Jew. Then she abandons all self-respect and goes soft-hearted, instead of rejecting such socially unacceptable harassment and insult.

Her re-creation of Meir’s childhood is therefore quite different from Franzi’s: Meir always read every second of his free time. What he read was at that time beyond my understanding. I remember one day when Meir was ill, he sent me to the library to collect some books for him—he must then have been about 16 years old—I looked through the pages of one book—my criterion of a good book was one with small paragraphs and often interrupted, and this book seemed to be the type that I would find interesting.

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