Amos Elon, an Israeli essayist and author, died Monday May 25, 2009 of
Lukemia in Italy. He was 82.
His most recent book, "The Pity of It All," was published in 2002. The
book offers a family portrait of German Jewry >from the mid-18th century until
the rise of Hitler. Elon wrote it "to set the record straight" and display
the depth and richness of the German Jewish culture.
"They were really the first free Jews. And the first Europeans," Elon
told Haaretz in an 2004 interview. "They built a civil society and believed
obsessively in Bildung, or self-improvement through the fostering of social
I believe this book to be an essential "must read" for every genealogist
with ancestry in the Germanic world during the past 250 years.
Elon was born in Vienna in 1926 and moved with his family to Palestine in
1933. He studied law and history at Hebrew University and Cambridge.
Michael Bernet, New York