by Louis Train
When I told my mother I was moving to Russia, she sighed and reminded me that to her, Eastern Europe was a cemetery. Her grandparents had fled during the Russian Civil War, and her parents had grown up watching details of the Holocaust emerge, night by night, like a dark beacon announcing the violent and final end of Jewish life in Eastern Europe.
Nick Cassenbaum grew up in London’s Jewish community and experienced all the cultural mores that go with it – Spurs games, dubious summer camps, trips to Israel and discovering his willy isn’t like the other boys’ at school. Like many young people as he got older, he hadn’t quite found his place in the world. Until he went with his grandfather, Papa Alan, to the Canning Town bathhouse.