The Marrano Legacy
A Contemporary Crypto-Jewish Priest Reveals Secrets of His Double Life
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
160 Pages, 6.00 x 8.50 in
- 9780826330550 | March 2003
The Marrano Legacy chronicles the astounding, intensely personal correspondence between two strangers from different countries who shared the unusual experience of discovering in their teens that they were Jews: "Simon," a descendant of Spain's medieval Marranos who submitted to baptism to escape the Inquisition, and Trudi Alexy who survived the Holocaust when her family fled from Prague to Paris and hid in Fascist Spain as hastily baptized Catholics.
Fifty years later, when she set out to recapture her lost Jewish identity, she discovered a spiritual kinship with the medieval Marranos who, though they were forced to hide their Jewishness, held to their ancient traditions in secret.
Simon has lived the hazardous life of a Crypto-Jewish Catholic priest, providing protection to a large community of secret Jews living as Catholics in a Latin American country. In their correspondence, Alexy shares her own inner conflicts as she struggles to understand why Simon continues to live in constant danger of discovery by both Catholics and mainstream Jews, wrestling with doubts and coping with personal tragedies that almost cause him to abandon his faith in God and his Jewish identity.
"Trudi Alexy has written a spellbinding book revealing the clandestine lives of people of our times who were coerced to hide their identities. This is not a work of fiction. The characters presented are real persons encountered by the author and they include confessional letters that instruct us about the gain and losses of self-revelation."-Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author of For Those Who Can't Believe