Suleiman reflects on resilience, girlhood, identity

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 13:03 in Psychology & Sociology

Susan Rubin Suleiman remembers running, her mother’s hand in hers, as the sun rose. She was 5, and her mother had woken her in the middle of the night and hurried her out of their Budapest apartment house. Earlier her mother had ripped the yellow star off her jacket. The two of them walked past the soldiers and the concierge whose job it was to prevent Jews from leaving. Nobody stopped them. It was only as an adult that Suleiman, C. Douglas Dillon Professor Emerita of the Civilization of France and professor emerita of comparative literature, would learn through research that their building had been designated one of 2,000 yellow-star houses in the Budapest ghetto, where Jewish residents were forced to live starting in June 1944. The night they fled was in October 1944 when the houses had been sealed off, and Jewish residents were not permitted to come or go. Suleiman recounted...

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