When she first moved into our neighborhood in Flushing, New York, in November 1954, with her husband and two young sons, Irena quickly became known as the woman who would never answer the bell if the person at the door was in uniform. I distinctly remember yelling to the parcel postman one afternoon: “Don't bother. She won't come.”

I was born into that neighborhood in 1940. It was mainly Catholic and Jewish, but when I was growing up, talk of the Holocaust was verboten. No matter how...

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About the Author

Patrick Henry is Cushing Eells Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Literature at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.