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Author Jerzy Kosinski Finally Comes to Israel

January 29, 1988
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Jerzy Kosinski, the well-known, Polish-born, Jewish author who has lived in the United States since 1957, explained here Thursday why he has never visited Israel until now.

“You don’t come to Israel the way you go to any other country, for a trip,” said the 55-year-old writer. “You go with the very specific notion that you are going there to encounter, not the country, really, but a part of yourself which the country may wake up in you.”

Kosinski, who lost his entire family in the Holocaust, came here to address a congress on the traditions of Polish-Jewish culture.

“I kept thinking one had to select the moment for coming to Israel when technically and spiritually one should be free to remain if one would choose so,” he said.

In any event, he observed, he had not really waited so long to visit the Jewish state. “In terms of our history, it is a very short time actually — 30 years.”

Kosinski said that on the plane bound for Israel, “I kept thinking that I am only 55. How sad it is that I cannot call my parents, or my uncles or other members of my family who may be in Warsaw or in Lodz or in Krakow and say, ‘Hey, guess where I am. I’m following in the footsteps of (Yehuda) Halevy. I’m in Israel.'”

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