Descendent of infamous Nazi becomes Jewish

One of the more surreal dispatches on interfaith affairs:

Independent Online Edition > Europe

Matthias Goering says: "I used to feel cursed by my name. Now I feel blessed."  The 49-year-old physiotherapist, a descendant of Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man, is wearing a Jewish skullcap, with a Star of David pendant round his neck. After being brought up to despise Jews, he has embraced their faith. And although he has yet to formally convert to Judaism, he keeps kosher dietary rules, celebrates shabbat and is learning Hebrew.

The people at his local synagogue must not know what to do with this guy!  A family tree like that must make for some uncomfortable conversations all around.

Of course, it’s a poetic and very karmic conclusion to this family’s chilling relationship with Jews. (I’d say that Hermann Goering must be rolling in his grave, but I suspect that he’s too busy being rotisseried.)

Don’t know anything about the person, but I must say that my heart goes out to any person who grew up with such a dark family legacy and in such an environment of hate (e.g., he mentions that his parents used to say that they were poor because "the Jews" had taken all their money).  As he grew older and came to realize what his family was associated with, he must of experienced more than a little self-loathing.

Makes you grateful for the garden-variety nutcases, scandals and crises most of us gripe about.   (Don’t know about you, but I definitely have some interesting relatives.  Let’s just say that a large White family reunion would be pretty socio-economically diverse.  A whole lot of flannel and booze, and not a vegetable in sight.) 

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