The reason behind the title “Jew Face”

When the Nazis occupied Holland in 1940, 10% of Amsterdam’s population was Jewish.  In those days, Amsterdam was not as it is today, a city with various minorities making it far more difficult to identify with certainty a person’s religion or ethnicity.  In 1940, a person with a dark complexion and dark hair in Amsterdam was assumed to be Jewish.  To the German’s, the ‘Joden Kop’ was a way of harshly identifying that they recognized the face of a Jew. Sipora Groen, my mother, was seen as having one of those identifiable faces.  Hence the title of the book “Jew Face”, the story of my parent’s life, taking place primarily during the time of the occupation between 1940-45 and revolving around their journeys and experiences during those years not only of horror and sadness, but also courage and strength.

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5 responses to “The reason behind the title “Jew Face”

  • columbo1es

    David,
    Has your book been published yet? I would very much like to read it. I too, am writing my Mothers memoirs. Please take a look at my essay called Holocaust Revelations.

  • leo groen

    Jewish people including myself are greatly offended by the title of your book . We will not buy it or promote it for that reason . I have told you why and the reasons but I see that honesty in script only goes one way so you will probably not allow this to be seen by anyone like my 2 previous comments . I see you fear criticism . Too bad

  • davidgroen1

    I will post opinions, even if they are not ones I agree with. I can handle and should expect some, maybe even a lot of criticism. My personal decision is that a comment that has a personal insult is one I will not post. That is why the comment you made today(in the post “the reason behind the title Jew Face), has been approved. I have over the past few days approached numerous people, all Jewish, and asked them how they felt about the title. Some of these people are people I know marginally or have not spoken to in many years so they have no strong personal allegiance to me. I did not lead them in any direction and did not make it seem like I was looking for a specific answer. If anything I attempted to lead them in the direction of your(leo groen) opinion. I asked the question in one of 2 ways. What do you think of the title? Do you think the title is problematic? I have not had one person express a serious concern over the title. They seemed to understand that this book is based on events that took place as a result of people who hated the Jews and that the title is not coming from a place that has any intention of causing damage or attacking the Jewish people. You may have done more as Jew than I have Leo, you have fought in the Israeli army and you now live according to the guidelines of the Torah, but I don’t believe that makes you someone who loves the Jewish people more than I do. I do not dispute that I am a stubborn person, but I am not being one in this case. A clear majority of the people I have spoken with have no issue with the title. If I had clear evidence to the contrary I would not let my own stubborness or opinion get in the way.

  • leo groen

    I spoke to the members of the chabad community as well as Young Israel . They are offended by the title and would not buy your book for this reason . Myself and your other siblings agree with this opinion . You do not want to offend your core audience they do not have to be shocked you will lose your base support including me I cannot and will not promote something with this title it is against my core principals . By the way our father would spit at this title . How about the Anne Frank who lived . That has name recognition . . THIS IS NOT PERSONAL , BUT THE MANIFESTATIONS WILL REVERBERATE your brother .

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