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I was born in September 1923 in a small town in Germany, where my grandfather served as a teacher in the Jewish school. He was sort of the acting rabbi for the Jewish community that had, I think, 100-150 inhabitants. But my family had originated, in all probability, in the Rhineland – and strangely enough that is the district that I like more than any other landscape in Germany. My father became a banker when he was still quite young. Instead of sending him to university, which was then something quite rare, they sent my father to study banking as an apprentice in the bank. My father was an expert on securities, on the stock exchange and those sorts of things. He married my mother who had been a bank clerk. My mother had lost her own father, who died when she was young. Her mother, together with her two daughters, had lived in various towns in Germany where affluent relatives set her up in a hat shop, I think. My father worked in a bank in Hanover and so did my mother, and my father fell in love with her. It was very similar to other stories: there was a party for the Jewish community in Hannover. My mother had not even wanted to go. This was a large community. My aunt, my mother's younger sister, had a hard time convincing her: 'What do you care? Maybe it will be fun'. In the end she relented and it was there that she met my father, and my father fell in love with her and apparently the attraction was mutual. When my mother went on vacation to the mountains, my father followed her and there, in the mountains, they decided to get engaged. They returned to Hannover together, and in 1913 they got married.

 נולדתי בספטמבר 1923, בעיירה קטנה בגרמניה, שם שימש סבי כמורה של בית הספר היהודי. כמין חצי רב לקהילה היהודית, שהיו בה אני חושב כמאה-מאה וחמישים נפש. אבל מקור המשפחה שלי כנראה בחבל הריין, ובצורה די מוזרה זה החבל שאני אוהב אותו יותר מכל נוף אחר בגרמניה. אבא שלי היה בנקאי מגיל צעיר. במקום לשלוח אותו לאוניברסיטה, שזה אז היה דבר די נדיר, הם שלחו את אבי ללמוד בנקאות, כשולייה בבנק. אבי היה מומחה לניירות ערך, לבורסה ולדברים כאלה. הוא התחתן עם אמי. אמי הייתה פקידת בנק. אמי הייתה חצי יתומה. אבא שלה מת כשהיא הייתה צעירה, והאמא שלה עם שתי הבנות שלה חיו בכמה עיירות גרמניות שקרובים אמידים סידרו לה חנות לכובעים, אני חושב. וכשאבי עבד בבנק בהנובר, אמי גם עבדה בבנק בהנובר, ואבי התאהב בה. כמו כל הסיפורים האלה. אמא שלי בכלל לא רצתה ללכת. היה איזה נשף של הקהילה היהודית בהנובר, זאת הייתה קהילה יותר גדולה. ובקושי הדודה שלי, אחותה הצעירה, שכנעה אותה: "מה איכפת לך? אולי זה יהיה נחמד"; בסוף היא נעתרה ושם פגשה את האבא שלי והאבא שלי התאהב בה, וכנראה גם הדדי. וכשאמא שלי נסעה לחופשה בהרים, אבא שלי נסע אחריה ושמה בהרים הם החליטו להתארס והם חזרו יחד להנובר וב-1913 הם התחתנו.‏

 

 

Born in 1923, Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, HaOlam HaZeh from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery is the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Rhineland, Germany

Duration: 3 minutes, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 10 March 2017