You would think all was wonderful in this sweet land
On November 3, 1946, my grandfather, Lou Hartman, was on a bus from Davis, California, to Berkeley, returning from an apparently blissful weekend with his fiancée and her family. The next morning, he wrote to my grandmother, Blanche:
We drove on through the night. Across the aisle an old gentleman and a soldier changed views on the country here and in Wichita. The old man gave the kid a cigar and you would think all was wonderful in this sweet land. But then they got on the Jewish question, repeating all the old lies about wealth and power, Hitler did one good thing etc. etc. In the past, when such things have happened in public and I was not immediately concerned, I would writhe and suffer—and say nothing. I was lying down on the cross seat and suddenly I was talking. I had never heard my voice like that before. Hard, biting, controlled. The old man, who had started the filthy talk, apologized and later tried to get palsi-walsi with me. The bus heard it, I guess, and he was mightily embarrassed. Not that it changed him, but if everyone would speak out and pass to the attack at moments like this there would be less of it.