Jenny Diski on being English and Jewish:
"My first dramatic encounter with my own Jewishness in the eyes of others was at my primary school, where at the age of 8 or 9 (not long after the facts of the holocaust had been made public) I was asked by a group of my peers in the playground where I was from. I was surprised. I’m English, I said. No you’re not, you’re Jewish, they told me, and added that I had killed Jesus. We sang about Jesus every morning in assembly – Gentle Jesus, meek and mild – and I wasn’t unimpressed that I might have been responsible for such an important person’s death, though I had no recollection of the deed. What I was, or had been, sure of, was that I was English. I had a birth certificate that said so. That’s what I told the children in the playground. But when I stopped to think about it, I’d always known that something didn’t fit about us. We never exactly belonged to that tightly strung class system that depended on how you how you spoke, who you knew, what you ate, what you wore and how you furnished your house. I couldn’t place myself so easily or precisely as I could place my non-Jewish acquaintances, because although we were hardly religious Jews, and spoke English as our mother tongue, though smattered with Yiddish words and phrases, we did so much of daily existence so differently that we never slotted into a proper, recognized sector of the social structure."