I have always been defined as the child of Jewish Holocaust survivors. My father had been imprisoned in the notorious Dachau concentration camp; my mother had scraped through Stutthof, escaping with her own mother, even as other women died around them.
Though I was born in the decade after this attempted genocide, my parents talked of their European past constantly, creating a world of crisis even in the safe American present in which I was being raised. My mother, for example, would comment that with my black hair and the Aryan ideals of the Third Reich (which favored blonde hair and blue eyes), I could never have been hidden or saved. (This meant that I was unduly haunted by the constant ads on the TV, which said, "Is it true blondes have more fun?") My father would casually offer the information that the piece of potato skin that remained on my plate during dinner would have kept someone alive another day "over there." My very name was a source of sadness. From an early age, I understood that "Sonia Taitz" was not just me, but my father's martyred mother. I knew that on an unknown day in the past, this other Sonia had died in concentration camp, and was buried in an unmarked grave. I - Sonia Taitz the Second -- was to be her memorial, her gravesite, her monument, the answer to the unanswerable question of why.