Library of Cultural References

  • Library: Cultural References in Books

The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage

by Mark Klempner [Pilgrim Press - 2006]
ISBN-13: 978-0829816990
ASIN: 0829816992

Although it's not a work of fiction, Aaron Levine writes:

I found a reference to Joni in--of all places--a history book about Holocaust rescuers. According to the preface, the historian used to be an LA studio musician, so that explains something.

The book is "The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage" by Mark Klempner (The Pilgrim Press, 2006).

If you turn to page 166, you'll find yourself in the middle of a dialogue between the author and a rescuer named Mieke Vermeer. She has just been explaining her activist philosophy, which she sums up as "do what you can, where you are, with what you've got . . . . Step in wherever and whenever you can."

Klempner responds soon thereafter by asking, "What do we do about people's cynicism? Joni Mitchell asks in one of her songs, 'Is justice just ice? Governed by greed and lust? Just the strong doing what they can. And the weak suffering what they must?"

Mieke Vermeer responds, "We lived through that. It was very frightening, but we weren't cynical about it--we took action. And action is still needed today."

Aaron adds, "The conversation goes on, and it's well worth reading."

(Contributed by Aaron Levine)


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