My father’s family emigrated from Eastern Europe in the very early 1900s, locating in the Boston, MA area. His parents, aunts, uncles and cousins all lived in Boston and a few surrounding communities into the 1930s. My father was among the first to leave, in 1932, traveling by himself across country at the age of 16, eventually relocating to Los Angeles. Over the next few years most of his family members made a similar journey, including his parents and sister.
But a few years earlier, one small group of his family made a different move, from Boston to a small town in Missouri. They had planned to start a new life there, but their dreams were soon crushed, their faith in humanity along with it, and the health and well-being of some of them also permanently destroyed. In that small Missouri town, there was one group that was the government, that was the law, and that controlled who prospered and who feared for their life every waking moment. That group was the Ku Klux Klan. And they did not want Jews in their community.
Instead of living in that small Missouri town for generations, they stayed only a few painful weeks. The KKK did not just intimidate, the KKK did not just use epithets, the KKK did not just use symbols of hatred, the KKK physically attacked their new Jewish neighbors, causing painful and permanent injuries, Continue reading