Born in Magdebug, Germany in 1931, John tells of the very heavy religious influence in his father's family. He then tells of how the Germans arrested some members of his family and how someone helped his father get out of the camp. John also details the burning of the Torah scrolls by the Germans. His family moved to Holland, and then to New York. Thereafter they lived in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and people would ask him about their life in Germany and their coming over on a boat and being a Jewish. John also tells of the importance of Judaism to him. He got married, and details his own family life. He describes his work and explains his reasons for devoting his life to his job as the director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, which focuses on systemic issues of poverty in Appalachia.
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