Psychic Scars and Something Wild: A Conversation with Dramatist, Filmmaker, and Holocaust Survivor Jack Garfein

By strange and fortuitous coincidence, my meeting with Jack Garfein fell upon the nexus of several intersecting moments in history. It was Friday, January 27th — International Holocaust Remembrance Day. One week earlier, Donald J. Trump was sworn to office as forty-fifth President of the United States; and in the ensuing weekend, allegations of Trump’s unpunished sexual misconduct, callous attitudes toward women and courting of radical right-wing supporters helped bring about the Women’s March on Washington, one of the largest mass protests in the nation’s history. All around, people are anxiously reading the past with tenuous hopes and fears for the future. History, so often a thing defined after the fact, is currently in violent and furious motion.

Jack Garfein is living history, and he’s not shy about telling it. Born to Ukrainian Jews in 1930, Mr. Garfein personally witnessed as a child the rise of Nazi Germany
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