My mother, Harriett Hendler Miller, wife of Sid Moredecai Miller whose mother was Martha Getz Miller and daughter of Carrie Meirowitz Getz and granddaughter of Natalie Iglick Meirowitz, related to me her remembrance of discussions about my grandmother's grandmother, Natalie Iglick Meirowitz. I was told that my grandmother was afraid of her grandmother because she was "a real Prussian", very severe in her demeanor. It was related to me by my mother that Natalie was said to have, during WW I, a picture of The Kaiser (Kaiser Wilheml) hidden in her closet which she would often open to gaze upon The Kaiser's picture. She was also know to return to Prussia every several years to visit.
Andrew Seth Miller
Very interesting comment, Andrew. Therein lies the cruel truth that the Prussian/German Jews were faced with. They considered themselves Prussian first, Jewish second, and were extremely loyal to the Kaiser. My own grandfather, also a relative of Natalie's, lost a lung fighting for the Kaiser in WWI, and ended up in Theresienstadt. Ironically, my mother told me that he and my grandmother survived because they were given a little more food because my grandfather had lost his lung in this manner.
It must have been a terrible wrench for all of our ancestors to emigrate. Obviously it was out of necessity, not choice.
A very interesting question. Am I an American first, or a Jew first? Are you a Brit, or a Jew, first? That was a question posed in France during the Napoleanic Era -- can a Jew be a loyal French National? Why not both?
Am I a Jewish-American, or an American Jew? Is there really a difference.
I am also a Lithuanian-American ... a German-American ... an Eastern European-American ... a Litvak and a Prussian ... a Liberal ... a Socialist ... a Democrat ... a Left-Winger ... all of this, and more, am I.
Very "heavy" issue.
It depends upon who is asking - we all know what was the answer given by the Nazi German. If you ask today in Israel that question - are you Israeli first or Jewish first - you will get as many answers as the people you ask.
The question comes with strong connection to loyalty - In case of a conflict - which definition wiil overcome the others - lets ask an ugly question - if you are called to be a jury member in a trial on "Yom Kippur" are you American first or Jewish first?
BTW - you're invited to add your Lithuanian relatives to my "LITVAK" project
If I am asked to serve on a jury, and my religious obligations where to cause a conflict with the ability to fulfil those obligations, I would meet my religious obligations, first. That is possible because I am an American, and my ability to meet my religious obligations is guaranteed to me by The Constitution's First Amendment.
Sandy Koufax did not pitch on Yom Kippur. Senator Joseph Lieberman (from my home state of Connecticut) does not vote in the Congress on Shabbat.
If I am to sit on a jury, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the United States, and to do justice. And here is where it can get interesting...if there is a conflict between what US and state law says about justice, and what Jewish law says about justice, how should I render my decision? Is the concept of "jury nullification" have validity? What if the juror is a Catholic, or a Muslim? a Seventh Day Adventist, or a Scientologist? an atheist or agnostic? a Satanist or Franciscan?