It is more difficult to undermine faith than knowledge, love succumbs to change less than to respect, hatred is more durable than aversion, and at all times the driving force of the most important changes in this world has been found less in a scientific knowledge animating the masses, but rather in a fanaticism dominating them and in a hysteria which drove them forward.

There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason. I mean, if you and I were in a line moving towards what we knew were gas chambers, I’d rather have a go at taking one of the guards with me; but they [the Jews] were always submissive.

A refusal on the part of psychiatrists and therapists to validate the horrors of their patients’ tortured past implies a refusal to take seriously the unconscious psychological mechanisms that individuals need to use to protect themselves from the unspeakable. Such a denial is, however, no longer ethical, for it is in the human capacity to dissociate that lies part of the secret of both childhood abuse and the horrors of the Nazi genocide, both forms of human violence so often carried out by ‘respectable’ men and women.

Self-preservation and determination meant she could get away with anything. As her law-abiding, conventionally minded daughter, I secretly envied her this. She was not the clinging-vine type, nor one who could coax sugar from a lemon. Hers was the frontal attack with no inhibitions. She told the Nazis you could not trust Hitler, and they let her go. In the days of chaperones, she hitch-hiked a ride on a French destroyer along the coast of Crete; ‘All quite proper, I had my cook with me,’ she explained.