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Csillag, V. (2017). After the Trumpede. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):376-377.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(3):376-377

After the Trumpede

Veronica Csillag, L.C.S.W.

On November 9, 2016, the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the bloody pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany, carried out by civilians and paramilitary forces with the government’s tacit approval, the American public woke up to President Elect Donald Trump. After a night of terror and tears followed by intermittent sleep, I dragged myself to work. My first patient was Hee-Sook. She was devastated. It having been a rainy day, she told me that her young son said that God was crying. She and her husband were contemplating whether they should leave the States.

When Hee-Sook first came to see me several months earlier she told me that she was in search for the identity that had eluded her most of her life. She said, “My mother is Korean. My father is half-Jewish. The wrong half.”

Actually, it depends on one’s perspective, I thought. What’s more important: to avoid the gas chambers or to be accepted into Judaism?

“I grew up in Wisconsin in a small white town, emanating unacknowledged prejudice. I stuck out like a sore thumb. It was hard to tell whether I was bullied for being Asian or Jewish. My parents were a couple of permissive hippies. Between the lily-white oppression of Wisconsin and my parents’ lack of discipline I was looking for order. I lived in Korea for a while, then I went to Israel, to a Kibbutz. I embraced Judaism and converted to modern orthodoxy, a liberal variant of the original. After the malignant chaos of my childhood, it was going to be that or the military.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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