Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29: The Story Oliver Stone Doesn't Want To Tell: His Own

By Sylvia Gurinsky

What if Joshua Silverstein had made his dressmaking fortune in Germany or Austria or Poland, rather than in New York? What if Joshua Silverstein and his wife had had their son, Louis, born in 1910, in those countries? What if Louis had grown to manhood in those countries, and tried to make his way?

He would have been stopped, of course, in his 20s, because of the spread of Nazi influence - Adolf Hitler's influence. Louis Silverstein may have never made it to 40. He almost certainly would have gone to a concentration camp, and might have died there.

It wouldn't have mattered, either, if Louis Silverstein had done in Europe what he did here - change his last name to Stone to avoid anti-Semitism and marry a Catholic woman. The Nazis frequently came for the Jews who tried to lose their Jewishness first.

Instead, it was here, in the United States, where Joshua Silverstein evidently didn't pass on whatever Yiddishkeit he might have had to Louis, who did change his name to Stone for fear of anti-Semitism and marry a Catholic woman. In 1946, they had a son, Oliver.

If you've been reading about that son's interview with The Sunday Times of London this week, you know why this is relevant.

Oliver Stone has become a successful director by telling stories and trying to discover his version of "the truth."

The one truth - and one story - he doesn't seem interested in is his own Jewishness. For a man who was given so much, that is tragic.

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