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Medical Humanities


Esther Lee

October 28, 2016


87, male

occupation: retired

setting: history taking practice with a shoah survivor


Can you tell us about your social life?

my wife died last month

i have problems with constipation

that's my only health complaint

i like to write

i used to walk at least five miles a day until my knees started hurting

i use my stick now

every day

it used to be seldom but now


today i didn’t walk here

the bus from home to here takes some time and i didn't want to be

late so i took a taxi

i'm a writer

Can you tell us about before you came to Israel?

i came when i was nineteen

i wrote a book about it - a heavy book but

they didn’t want it

i tell you i was so good at languages

and i am still good at languages






i was the only one in my class who spoke all these and the teachers didn’t like us but

i was so good at german

i was the only jew that my teacher liked

i like languages and i like to write

i am a writer

and when i write

i forget

about all the troubles in my head

What do you like to write about?

love stories and things

that i see and notice and what is on the news

my book is called Between

Two Homelands

how can there be two homelands, you say

a homeland signifies one place to return, one space

to be safe in

how can there be two of something so special

like two of being born?


you don't tell us about the time before you came to your homeland

about the animal clawing in your stomach

the blackness of their eyes or

the call of death

the stories inside

instead, it’s writing and your books

the constipation, the new walking stick

you motion again with your fingers the thickness

of the book that never got published