Allen Hershkowitz was a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council from 1988 to 2016. He is the author of Bronx Ecology: Blueprint for a New Environmentalism (2002), among numerous other books and articles. He is the founding director and serving chairman of the climate action initiative Sport and Sustainability International, and is the environmental science adviser to the New York Yankees. (January 2019)
Auschwitz and Dachau frame the emotional structure of my life. Thinking of my father in the course of a day, I think of Auschwitz. Thinking about my mother, I think about Dachau. I still think often about their murdered children and murdered spouses. The few details I know about my parents’ day-to-day existence at Auschwitz and Dachau are drawn from the few memories my parents shared. I knew there was much I didn’t learn from them about their past, but it was not until I discovered my father’s Auschwitz file that I recognized how far from understanding their history I was.