I was drinking a martini on the terrace of the King David Hotel when I started counting sirens. An ultra-Orthodox social worker had told me earlier in the week that that is what people often do here, count sirens. One siren is probably a heart attack. Two might be a fire. If you hear three, you had best turn on the news.
"There was no shouting or wailing," recalls a Nazi army veteran in wonder after watching Polish Jews digging their own graves before being machine-gunned. "There was a deadly silence."