Intro: The Lost

“Some time ago, when I was six or seven or eight years old, it would occasionally happen that I’d walk into a room and certain people would begin to cry.  The rooms in which this happened were located, more often than not, in Miami Beach, Florida, and the people on whom I had this strange effect were, like nearly everyone in Miami Beach in the mid-nineteen-sixties, old.  Like nearly everyone else in Miami Beach at that time (or so it seemed to me then), these old people were Jews — Jews of the sort who were likely to lapse, when sharing prized bits of gossip or coming to the long-delayed endings of stories or to the punch lines of jokes, into Yiddish; which of course had the effect of rendering the climaxes, the points, of these stories and jokes incomprehensible to those of us who were young.”

Intro paragraph to The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn

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