– planning to retain my own EU membership
by becoming German as well as British. Within a week, I saw in the
press that there was already a notable trend of people cashing in
on their eligibility for Irish, Italian, German and other nationalities.
As I write, only a month after the referendum, things are far from
clear, and I suppose I won’t do anything apart from assemble my
documents at least until Article 50 is triggered, beginning the formal
process of separation. In the meantime, having completed this
extended meditation on my family’s history, including the traumas
the PhD in chemistry at FriedrichWilhelms-Universität in Berlin, my father also took a philosophy class
with the illustrious Professor Wolfgang Köhler (another academic who
would be gone ten years later, emigrating to the United States in 1935).
In Freiburg, my father joined the Jewish student fraternity, Ghibellinia.
Membership of a duelling fraternity always seemed a most unlikely
thing for him, but I learn now that it was more or less a requirement.
Miriam Rürup, scholar of German Jewish fraternities, has shown how
student fraternities were an integral part of
nineteenth-century practices of holidays, sport and leisure,
sun-tanning and open-air living, looser and less clothing, hygiene,
vegetarianism and temperance. They also advocated the new consumer
products appearing under the guise of particular health claims, such
as vitamin pills, artificial sunlamps and irradiated foodstuffs, as
possible antidotes to a needy body. The membership propagating the