Latkes Filled With Meaning

Latkes Filled With Meaning
Cohen via AP)

I didn't eat latkes for Hanukkah when I was growing up. My family didn't celebrate Hanukkah at all. My ancestors had spent a century covering up our Jewish identity. In Hungary in 1903, my paternal great-grandfather changed our family name from Nichtenhauser (German last names were associated with Jews) to Nador (an ethnic Hungarian name) to blend into the dominant culture. My grandfather later registered our family's religion as Protestant, around the time my father was born in 1932, because of the rising tide of antisemitism in Hungary; this didn't fool the Nazis, who still regarded them as Jewish. But the fiction became part of my family's reality nonetheless.

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