Roger L. Simon

Holocaust Lessons for Harry

When I was a little boy the first verses I ever memorized were: “They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace/Christopher Robin went down with Alice.” My mother used to read A. A. Milne to me at bedtime. I guess that began a life of anglophilia. Even though I was a little Jewish boy, I had no idea of the anti-Semitic history of the British ruling class so darkly and elegantly portrayed in The Remains of the Day. It took many years until I learned about that. My first trip to London at age sixteen I had no real consciousness of it. I was too busy watching Olivier and Gielgud do A School for Scandal and, yes, seeing the changing of the guard. Later when I came to live in London, I was in Belsize Park, not far from heavily-Jewish Hampstead. It seemed like a good life to me.

I think, until quite recently, I was one of those Jews who leaned to not making a fuss when young idiots like Prince Harry displayed an insensitivity (putting it mildly) to my co-religionists. No more. The epidemic is spreading again and I can only nod my head when tabloids like the Daily News refer to him as “Heil Harry.” It’s time for the Royal Family, everyone’s favorite tourist attraction, to go.

SECOND THOUGHTS: Ultimately, I agree with Lem below. This is not a time to defenestrate the Royal Family — although they are rather vestigial, wouldn’t you say?–but to educate. But how many chances do they get? I don’t want to count how many we’ve given them.