Boris Fishman reveals today in Tablet Magazine that he has been writing a novel about a failed magazine writer who files phony Holocaust-restitution claims on behalf of old Soviet immigrants: A plot that uncannily anticipated last week’s news of the $42-million defrauding of two German reparations funds.

While acknowledging, “The law is the law; the Holocaust-fund suspects should be prosecuted,” Fishman asks us (much as all fiction does) to empathize with the accused perpetrators, most of whom are Soviet Jewish immigrants living in America:

The poison inside the people who allegedly defrauded the Holocaust fund would be inside you, too, if you had lived as Jews in the Soviet Union. Whatever their sins, these people are heroes, too, for having survived it. The struggle to defeat its legacy requires a daily application of conscience and will, even for members of my generation.

Old Ways