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My father was born in Romania. As a Jew, he grew up in a climate of viscous antisemitism. During World War II, the authorities sent him and his two brothers to the labor camps. He was starved and beaten. Both his parents died in internment camps. As a holocaust survivor, my father had one goal: to become an American. Two weeks ago, he directed my brother to send me what turned out to his final communication. It was an excerpt from a written interview with a high school student. “On January 15, 2008, XXXX asked Peter Farago if he would answer some questions for a project for her social studies class about ‘someone who came to the United States from a different country a long time ago.’ His answers arrived in an email a few days later.

What was life in America like? How was it different from life in the previous country you lived in?

Life in America differs from my previous country in ways that would take volumes to tell. Read the Constitution of the United States of America and The Declaration of Independence. Then imagine exactly the opposite of every concept found in those documents. You will have an idea what the difference between living in preWW2 Romania vs. the good old USA is—for me . . . Lastly, if you wish, join me in thanking the Lord for being lucky enough to live in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.'”

My father was a gun owner and a proud American. May he rest in peace.

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