Antisemitism in Maine

Discovering a Heritage

'I don’t even know if I’m Jewish."

"When I went to a summer job in Maine, about '55 when one of the owners of the hotel was asking me about a friend of ours who was named Peterson, and he would say, 'Oh, is he Jewish? You know, we don’t allow Jews here.' And I said, 'Well, I don’t know if he’s Jewish. I don’t even know if I’m Jewish.' And that basically was a kind of a revelation to me.

I didn’t even know what circumcision was at the time. And I noticed that...I guess I was! And I didn’t know what it meant, but then I found out that’s how they identified, at least the men--so I learned about that, and that there was these awful camps, like Auschwitz and, you know...Dachau, and all the ones that the Americans liberated."