New Internationalist

Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999)

Issue 372

Celebrated violinist and human rights activist on how he came to be named ‘Yehudi’ which means ‘Jew’ in Hebrew.

Obliged to find an apartment of their own my parents searched the neighbourhood and chose one within walking distance of the park. Showing them out after they had viewed it, the landlady said: “And you’ll be glad to know I don’t take Jews.” Her mistake made clear to her, the antisemitic landlady was renounced, and another apartment found. But her blunder left its mark. Back on the street my mother made a vow. Her unborn baby would have a label proclaiming his race to the world. He would be called “The Jew.”’

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