…And Often the First Jew


“…And Often the First Jew” chronicles the accomplishments, adventures, and “firsts” in Germany for Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs and his wife Vickie, who are both children of Holocaust survivors. Rabbi Fuchs tells of the arrest and brutal treatment that his father, Leo Fuchs, received at the onset of Kristallnacht and how he was able to survive. Vickie discusses the events of her parents’ plight and subsequent new life in the United States. Rabbi Fuchs writes about their opportunities to speak and teach about the horrors of the Holocaust in the very place where the Nazi era began. Often their listeners have little knowledge of this tragic period in their history.

“…And Often the First Jew” encapsulates the Fuchs’ straightforward message they leave with Germany’s post-Holocaust generation – “We cannot undo the past, but the future is ours to shape.”

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Author: Stephen Lewis Fuchs
  • ISBN-13: 978-1946124548

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6 reviews for …And Often the First Jew

  1. In his engaging new book, Rabbi Stephen Fuchs takes us on a journey of healing and hope to Germany then and now. The personal narratives and painful remembrances are framed with uplifting teachings that testify to the resilience of the human spirit.

    Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism

  2. Rabbi Stephen Fuchs helps the reader travel through places and time to understand the Jewish people’s history in Europe. His insights – which are on the mark –reveal the deep humanity and hope that characterize his own life and actions.

    Stéphane Beder, Senior Vice Chair,
    World Union for Progressive Judaism, Paris, France

  3. It takes bravery, compassion and fortitude to teach and remind the world about one of the darkest stains of humanity – the Holocaust. Rabbi Stephen Fuchs does this with an unwavering zeal for sharing the truth and inspiring peace and interfaith dialogue through his mission work in Germany. 

    Ella Nayor, Florida Weekly award winning journalist, author, speaker, and community outreach educator for human rights;
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  4. We need to know Jews, all of us. With anti-Semitism rising sharply again across Europe, I am grateful that so many Germans are able to encounter Rabbi Stephen and Vickie Fuchs – rebutting prejudice and building bridges. 

    Claudia Linker Monnet, Principal
    ALS Aktivierende LernSysteme, Flensburg, Germany

  5. A wonderful collection of stories full of optimism: Rabbi Fuchs and his wife, Vickie, encounter the Nazi past and meet, wherever they go, people of all ages ready to confront this difficult legacy and heal the wounds of history and to make the world “a more just, caring and compassionate place” – a phrase that likely remains in the memories of everyone who hears Rabbi Fuchs speak.

    Walter Joshua Pannbacker, Ritual Leader,
    Reform Jewish Community of Kiel, Germany

  6. Stephen Fuchs, Rabbi and educator, recounts his presence at the historic churches and synagogues of Germany, especially in Leipzig, Friedrichstadt, Kaltenkirchen, Husum, Kiel, and Edinburgh, Scotland, to establish an important connection with the past. He reflects on the horrors of Kristallnacht and recounts the arrest of his father, Leo Fuchs, on that night. The book is a heartrending tribute by a loving son to his father that reflects on this tragic time in history and forges a path forward toward a more hopeful future. 

    Sally Wolff-King, PhD, Woodruff Health Sciences Historian,
    Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

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