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During all my school years, I recall only one other Jewish boy in any of my classes. His name was Arpad. With his glasses and big nose, he looked more like the stereotypical Jew illustrated in the racist newspapers than I did. He was not liked by the other kids and was often called disparaging names. Children would tell racist jokes or make derogatory comments, then realizing that I was sitting there, they would turn to me and quickly add “but you’re different, Bandi (Bandi was my nickname); you’re not like one of those dirty Jews.” To my great shame today, I was very pleased that I wasn’t like “those Jews” and that I didn’t “look like a Jew.” It was very important for me to be liked by my schoolmates, to be one of them.

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