Monday, November 28, 2011
From the NY Times:
Ms. Goldberg, 98, lives in a 19-story apartment house in Flushing, Queens, one of two neighboring buildings that were erected for survivors of the Holocaust. When she moved there in 1978, she said, her neighbors formed a tight community of predominantly Jewish refugees like her who had fled to the United States from Austria or Germany.
“We had parties,” Ms. Goldberg said, her voice barely above a whisper. “We had card games. It was our people. We had Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in our apartment.”
Now, she said, “It’s completely changed — I have no neighbors here.”
For Ms. Goldberg, the transformation has been steady and overwhelming. Of the 326 residents in her building, now only 31 are Holocaust survivors, and only 7 of them are German or Austrian.
The new neighbors are friendly enough. But she said: “We do not talk. We say hello, goodbye. But that’s it. They don’t speak German. They don’t speak English. They speak Russian and Chinese. Sometimes they just shake their heads.”
This is actually a very fascinating article showing how different groups live together and tolerate each others' presence, but don't really know each other. Not only that, but most people aren't interested in knowing each other.