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The Iran hostage crisis, the Stasi and why the past cannot be left behind
I ate my first Passover Seder meal recently, as a guest of Rabbi Jonathan Romain at his synagogue. I had had the ingredients and their symbolic meaning on the seder table memorized since that sheet Miss Thick gave me to stick into my O'Level Religious Studies notebook. But sitting in a room full of people re-telling the story of the Israelites' escape from Egypt and eating the paste that represents the mortar of their slave labour, was quite another experience. I was stunned by the power of this collective act of memory. One of the guests was attending his first seder for 68 years. I did a quick mental calculation and realised what that meant. His childhood was in the 30s and 40s. Born in Vienna he had come to Britain, alone, on a kindertransport. He lost his entire family in the Holocaust. I couldn't begin to fathom what he might be feeling at this meal. To think of Jews all over Britain and the world celebrating Passover was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. It was a