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Unformatted text preview: a good girl.”
For the next hour, the good girl lay wide awake in bed, listening to the quiet fumbling of sentences in the
One wild card was yet to be played. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE JEWISH FIST FIGHTER
Max Vandenburg was born in 1916.
He grew up in Stuttgart.
When he was younger, he grew to love nothing more than a good fistfight.
He had his first bout when he was eleven years old and skinny as a whittled broom handle.
That’s who he fought.
He had a smart mouth, that Gruber kid, and wire-curly hair. The local playground demanded that they fight, and
neither boy was about to argue.
They fought like champions.
For a minute.
Just when it was getting interesting, both boys were hauled away by their collars. A watchful parent.
A trickle of blood was dripping from Max’s mouth.
He tasted it, and it tasted good.
Not many people who came from his neighborhood were fighters, and if they were, they didn’t do it with their
fists. In those days, they said the Jews preferred to simply stand and take things. Take the abuse quietly and then
work their way back to the top. Obviously, every Jew is not the same.
He was nearly two years old when his father died, shot to pieces on a grassy hill.
When he was nine, his mother was completely broke. She sold the music studio that doubled as their apartment
and they moved to his uncle’s house. There he grew up with six cousins who battered, annoyed, and loved him.
Fighting with the oldest one, Isaac, was the training ground for his fist fighting. He was trounced almost every
At thirteen, tragedy struck again when his uncle died.
As percentages would suggest, his uncle was not a hothead like Max. He was the type of person who worked
quietly away for very little reward. He kept to himself and sacrificed everything for his family—and he died of
something growing in his stomach. Something akin to a poison bowling ball.
As is often the case, the family surrounded the bed and watched him capitulate. Somehow, between the sadness and loss, Max Vandenburg, who was now a teenager with hard hands,
blackened eyes, a...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13