Help us welcome our newest entry to our New Voices catalog: “Holocaust Jokes” by Sarah Snider. A story in vignettes—laced with gallows humor—”Holocaust Jokes” is a commentary on the function of memory and tragedy in today’s society. Snider’s writing in “Holocaust Jokes” is laser sharp and never misses a punch (or punchline).
As the bride and groom stood behind him, faces shining with happiness, he addressed the guests: “I’m so happy today to be at the wedding of my beloved grandson. This day is so special and important to me. Why? BECAUSE THIS, THE WEDDING OF TWO BEAUTIFUL JEWISH CHILDREN, IS EXACTLY WHAT HITLER DID NOT WANT!”
Ari took a Volkswagen Jetta to get inspected by Henry at Sol’s Complete Car Care before he bought it. Henry’s father was in five different concentration camps during World War II. Henry’s daughter is tall, blond, and willowy like a model; Henry is of medium build and height with a certain level of receding, graying hair and a handlebar mustache. Henry’s mother survived the Holocaust, but it destroyed her nevertheless and she lived out much of her life in a mental institution. Henry lived with his aunt. He says things like, “Tell your parents to have a gut and gezunt yahr!” while knocking $50 off the cost of the car inspection for a fellow Jew.
“I always carry heat,” Henry tells Ari. “When they come for us again, I’m not going down without a fight. My daughter also. Right from the beginning, I taught her how to use a gun. We never leave home without them.
“My wife is Swedish. She’s a tall, blonde Swedish shiksa convert,” Henry tells Ari. “She always says to me, ‘You know Henry, I don’t understand your people; they’ve completely lost all sense of identity. They don’t even know what it means to be Jewish anymore! They buy German cars!’”
Ari bought a Subaru Legacy instead.