The proposed merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz AG presents a difficult question for Jews who have, in the 50 years since the Holocaust, refused on principle to buy German products.

The outspoken writer Cynthia Ozick says she has been one of those Jews, as "a private memorial." She "wouldn't touch" a Chrysler, she recently told the Wall Street Journal."This is irrational and not particularly moral," she said, "but I have to make some marker in my life."

Ozick's publisher, however, is Knopf, which is part of Random House, which is talking about a merger with Bertelsmann, another German firm. She said she wouldn't leave Knopf, a publisher that "has stuck with me through thin and thin. . . . One lives in the real world."

- Leah Garchik