Memories After My Death: The Story of Joseph "Tommy" Lapid
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Memories After My Death is the astonishing true story of Tommy Lapid, a well-loved and controversial Israeli figure who saw the development of the country from all angles over its first sixty years. From seeing his father taken away to a concentration camp to arriving in Tel Aviv at the birth of Israel, Tommy Lapid lived every major incident of Jewish life since the 1930s first-hand. This sweeping narrative is mesmerising for anyone with an interest in how Israel became what it is today. Lapid's uniquely unorthodox opinions - he belonged to neither left nor right, was Jewish, but vehemently secular - expose the many contradictions inherent in Israeli life today.
in the form of a letter to my oldest grandchild, Yoav, who was going on the March of the Living and would visit Auschwitz. We were very close by then, and we tried to run away – he, from high school, me from the government – to meet for lunch as often as we could. My Dear Grandson Yoav, This is a trip you will never forget. When you reach the train tracks of the Birkenau camp, imagine for a moment your great-grandmother arriving there in a cattle car packed with seventy Jews who have been
manner in which she steered her opinionated client to his target. Thanks, too, to my English translator, Evan Fallenberg, for his wisdom, sensitivity and devotion to this project. Thanks to my research assistant, Avital Eilat, without whom I could not have coped with the staggering amount of material in such a biography, and to Ethel Hooven who, as always, stood between me and life so that I could be free to write. Thanks to Ehud and Aliza Olmert, Eli Zohar, Avraham Poraz, Raz Ben David, Gal
mistake to her. What were we doing in a horrible building in a deserted army camp in some end of the world place in this odd country? How could we get out of there, return home to the apartment we had left behind, to our classrooms, to the shipyard on the Danube, to our friends, our bridge games, the language we spoke and wrote, to normal lives led by people in their natural surroundings? What did we expect to find here? There was no understanding this guttural language, the food was unpalatable,
greeting and continued down the hall, but his voice stopped me in my tracks. ‘Tommy,’ he said, the look on his face that of a man preoccupied with some new idea that had just crossed his mind. ‘Those little pieces of yours, people seem to like them.’ ‘So I’ve heard,’ I said. ‘Why don’t you make it a regular column for the Friday paper? Interview people and write anecdotes about them.’ ‘Sounds fine to me. When should I begin?’ ‘Next week?’ ‘Sure.’ I continued tranquilly down the hall, my
the old guard that had established the country. There is nothing more dangerous than ageing revolutionaries, and in the winter of 1979, two years after the Likud government was voted into power, they were still treating their failure as a grievous error that would soon be corrected. The infamous statement by Yitzhak Ben Aharon that ‘if this is what the people have chosen then I do not accept their decision’ still echoed in the air like an ominous bell. The night before I assumed my new position