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November 04, 1988 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I LOOKING BACK

A Ste P • •
Toward A New Beginning

Burned Into History

comes a time in everyone's life for new beginnings. At Windemere
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Continued from preceding page

book collection. They were on
a high, a violent irrational
mood, getting great satisfac-
tion in the destruction.
"Outside the street was be-
ing paved. People were throw-
ing paving stones at the
synagogue and breaking win-
dows. We had to cross the
street through the mob. It was
chancy. If they had decided to
turn on us, there was nothing
we could do. But someone
said, 'Let the children pass:
and they did.
"We took a taxi to the
Jewish nurse's residence
where we took refuge for the
remainder of our stay," Cohn
said.
Cohn's father saught sanc-
tuary in the Mexican con-
sulate, then spent three
weeks hiding in Germany.
"Then the Gestapo found us
and told us that, unless my
father returned, none of the
Jewish men from Essen who
had been arrested would be
released;' Cohn said. "He
came back and my mother
and I hid behind a tree while
he was at Gestapo
headquarters.
"My father was released
and, after six weeks, so were
the men in the concenration
camps;' she said.
"My three best friends were
able to leave Germany on the

children's transport to
England. Their parents were
left behind and perished.
"Because clergyman did not
need visas, we were able to
find sanctuary at Central
Synagogue in New York. A
year later, as a defiant
response to the Nazis, my
father founded Habonim,"
Cohn said.
For Cohn, and even those
suspected the end might be
near, Kristallnacht shattered
illusions and innocence.
Echoing Anne Frank, Cohn
said, "like all children you
have faith in the goodness of
people. I never saw adults
before on a spree of deliberate
destruction. Out went my
childhood notions about the
integrity of human nature."
Cohn said she learned cer-
tain lessons from Kristall-
nacht that must be passed on.
"When you are a witness,
you feel a responsibility to say
what people are capable of, to
describe the evil side of
human nature;' she said.
"This is not random
violence, like being held up
and shot. This is organized
government activity. You
must warn people that this is
what happens when a govern-
ment decides to destroy all
synagogues. And it must not
be allowed to happen again."

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Ramat Gan, Israel — How
does diet affect behavior? Can
eating the right foods improve
your memory?
These are two of the scien-
tific puzzles that a behavioral
scientist at Bar-Ilan Univer-
sity here is trying to solve.
Professor Shlomo Yehuda of
Bar-Ilan's psychology depart-
ment reports that a series of
experiments he has recently
completed provide dramatic
support for the theory that we
are, indeed, what we eat.
In his psycho-pharmacology
laboratory, Yehuda has kept a
12-year record of the fluctua-
tions in intellectual capacity,
memory and sensibility
among a group of youthful
subjects, relating these varia-
tions to diet and eating
habits. He and fellow scien-
tists are using computers to
evaluate the accumulated
data.
One study tested 200
14-year-old volunteers. The
finding: children who ate
breakfast before they came to
school scored significantly
higher in memorizing
classroom material than
those who skipped the day's

first meal. Reversing roles by
turning the breakfast group
into non-eaters and the non-
eaters into breakfasters con-
firmed the finding: eating at
the start of the day is direct-
ly related to the ability to
commit school material to
memory.
Yehuda also discovered that
a deficiency of acetylcholine
— a chemical normally found
in the brain — could lead to
memory loss and a decline in
intellectual potential among
aging subjects. The scientist
then set out to find a
substitute that could enter
the brain through the cir-
culatory system.
Yehuda found what he was
looking for — the chemical
lecithin. Testing the
substance on aged rats, he
discovered that a diet rich in
lecithin could significantly
improve the ability of rats to
learn and to remember. Does
lecithin affect humans in the
same way? Yehuda is
cautious. "A long series of ex-
periments must still be made
before we can say if our
lecithin findings can be ap-
plied to humans," he says.

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