Here are excerpts from an interview by Stu Whitney of Argus Leader, who asked about my life, faith and policies
When we were finished, I sat with Deutsch in a more informal setting and tried to listen and learn. The former Watertown school board member grew up in the Detroit area, as did I, so we discussed the possibility of the Tigers making a baseball playoff run this season.
I learned that Deutsch was raised in a Jewish household and that his father, Michael, who worked as a butcher, survived the Holocaust after spending time in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. At age 17, Michael watched his father, mother and sister taken away by Nazi guards to perish in the gas chamber.
“My father would tell us how his parents were murdered because of their faith, and how he went through hell because of that,” Deutsch has said. “He didn’t want us to forget that.”
As a freshman legislator in 2015, Deutsch attended a leadership training seminar in Wisconsin, where he explored how his family heritage shaped his attitudes and convictions. The group was asked to recall life experiences that helped form them politically and post them on sticky notes on the wall.
“I wrote about growing up as the son of a Holocaust survivor,” he says. “When I first came to understand what the numbered tattoo on my dad’s arm meant, it was my very first recognition that there was evil in the world. It was my first understanding as a child that there are things we can do to push back against evil. I think that was the root of my pro-life stance and philosophy. Life comes first. You have to have life before liberty and you have to have life to pursue happiness.”
Fred’s own faith was a work in progress. After seeing his father’s torment and the way past horrors cast a shadow over his family, he began to wonder about other paths to spiritual fulfillment.
“I was raised as a Jew,” he says. “I had bar mitzvah and I learned to speak and read Hebrew. But I was on a personal quest for a closer relationship with God. I ultimately found that in the Catholic Church.”
Please read the entire article at “Whitney: Fred Deutsch’s losing battle“