By Marc Bromberg
I am 90 years old today. But let’s go back to Paris in 1941: I was born there ten years before from a Jewish family. The German army had occupied the northern half of France since the defeat a year earlier. My mother was born in Paris, and my father arrived there at the age of two.
My mother, always far-sighted, smuggled him across the demarcation line between the German-occupied zone and the so-called free southern zone in the summer of ’41. The school year started in September, and I went back to my school, rue de Picpus in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris.
Now, my mother, very aware of the danger that the first anti-Jewish discrimination measures posed to our family, quickly decided that she and I should also leave the occupied zone.
In our turn, we crossed clandestinely, not to say very dangerously, into the free zone in October. Finally, after a few weeks spent in Lyon, we settled in the Haute Loire in the Massif Central, where we remained in safety until the end of the war.
Allow me however to skip over the details that would fill a novel.
Where to look for the answers?
At the time, we knew nothing about the Holocaust and had no idea of the fate of the millions of Jews deported to the death camps.
After the war, when I learned about the fate of those Jews massacred by the Nazis, it was for me difficult to remain inactive. But what could a fifteen-year-old do? I couldn’t change the past. The future, perhaps! But what could I do? Russia had paid an enormous price for the fall of Hitler. Still, it had rushed to reinforce its gulags despite the false promises of a bright future under communism.
Religion? What religion? They had saved some people and could be thanked for it, but they had not prevented anything. Man, however, still wanted to believe and still held Jesus and his promise in his heart as an ultimate belief in divine reward. As Jews, we had the Old Testament. We also had the ancient wisdom of the Torah and Talmud professed in God’s name by wise and literate believers. But this had not prevented millions of Jews, including my own family, from being exterminated.
The tens of millions of deaths in the Second World War made me not give up and look for a way out, an escape route to hope.
I didn’t really know what I was searching for, but I knew I was searching.
The religious texts I knew fulfilled man’s need for more than just materialistic logic. Still, while they brought comfort to the soul, I had to admit that they had not stopped the wars and the killing.
Then, years later, with my engineering degree in hand and working in the industry, I encountered Scientology, founded by the renowned L. Ron Hubbard. I always thought that something inside me that I couldn’t define had drawn me to it. I remember the first conference I attended. I received answers that satisfied the need for understanding that I had as an engineer. I came away with the idea that I should continue in that direction because, in this sea of data and factors that life entails, I had glimpsed a light that, seemed to me, would open the way to understanding. So I stayed with it, and it did change my life my view of others, including my communication with them, my wife and children. I am still pursuing this quest today with Scientology. And I am discovering more and more true answers, engineer answers that enlighten my life.
So I have dedicated my life to helping others as much as I have helped myself through Scientology. It continues to enrich my need for knowledge and, above all, to understand and to understand myself. And this, I see every day in my public and private life, opens the door to a future of mutual understanding, communication and peace, like the one I have always sought.