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La Cigale et La Fourmi | Femme noire | La gloire de mon pere | PIERE D'UN PETIT ENFANT NEGRE | DEBOUT! JOSEPH! | Speak White | Celui Qui A Tout Perdu | My Jewish Brother | Au Revoir Les Enfants | La Derniere Classe | La Bassine | La Mère Noel | Le mendiant | L'ombre venant du pont | Essay Page
French 11
My Jewish Brother

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My name is Michael. The year was 1943. I had recently been accepted into college in Paris. Before this I have never been away from home for more than a week or two. I was excited to meet new people and distinguish myself from my parents. Establish my own personality. Things went well the first year; me being relatively sheltered till that point. I discovered a lot of things, beer for example (I never acquired the taste for wine, it is too sweet in my opinion). The year went by quicker than I realized. By the time it was over I had not realized that I was now a sophomore. I returned home to America for the summer to live with my parents and visit friends from my former school. At the end of the long summer, I returned to Paris to continue my studies.
Upon my return things were beginning to change. Well, not really change, but the effects were finally hitting the school hard. There was a constant German bombardment of the city. It often grew tiresome to fall asleep to the sounds bombs going off all over. My first two weeks were really uneventful, as are times of loneliness. I did not know many people. All the sudden on a Monday morning I got a call from the school warning me of a roommate that was going to be accompanying me.
<Oh great> I thought. <Another roommate! > I did not get along with the first one I had.
A few hours later and I had forgotten about the call and my impending roommate when: Toc, Toc, on the door awakened me from my afternoon nap.
<Who is it? > I asked.
<My name is Steve Ribbon> he replied.
<Bonjour> I replied.
After only a few hours of getting to know each other I stopped to think that he was a nice guy. Our interests, uncanny similar, I saw him as a little brother I never had. My real little brother was not similar to me at all. We were total opposites, do not ask me how that occurred. That night we decided to go out and find a few parties to crash.
After the third or fourth party, I really could not remember, we decided to head for our room. Neither of us had any luck with obtaining any female companions. Steve having a girlfriend back in his homeland had no real interest. And I was just my usual clumsy self. On the way back we ran across a group of 2 Gestapos who were harassing a young woman about our age. When we got closer we realized who she was, Max. She was our neighbor that lived down the hall from us. She was really nice to us; we played a lot of games with her. My favorite was soccer, because I would always be able to stop her runs.
<What seems to be the problem? > I asked.
<Mind your own business! > One of them replied.
<Help me, these guys will not leave me alone because I have to wear this Jewish star, > she replied while throwing the star on the ground. <Its not fair! >
<Pick that up Jew! >
Steve replied <Anyone making trouble for this lovely woman on the basis of her religion is a bigot. I am Jewish also, but since I had the fortune to have my religion concealed you treated me like an equal. >
After saying this he lashed out at one of the bigots, probably because of the alcohol we had consumed earlier in the night. I grabbed the other one and we were soon on our way, leaving them bruised but not hurt. Upon entering the building all three of us were seized and arrested. I was fortunate enough to have a rich and influential family. I was immediately deported. Steve and Max were sent to a concentration camp, never to be seen or heard from again, like many of their religion. I do not think that it is fair to judge people based on their religion or personal preferences, but unfortunately not everyone sees things the same way.