Growing up in Anne Frank’s shadow, my kids have known about the Holocaust since before they could speak

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — On a country road steeped in spring blossom, the 5-year-old in the backseat asked a question that sent shivers down our spines.

“Did the farmer plant those trees around his house because his family’s Jewish?” he asked us, his parents, pointing at a farmhouse we passed along the way.

I knew immediately what he meant.

“What do you mean?” I asked anyway.

“So people wouldn’t be able to see them from the road,” he replied.

It was startling evidence of how his mother and I — and perhaps life itself as a Dutch-Jewish boy — have allowed Holocaust traumas to mark his young mind and that of his younger sister.

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