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Showing posts with the label holocaust survivor

A Child Without a Shadow- A Review

  A Child Without a Shadow: A Story of Resilience The story is  a memoir of the life of Shaul Harel. He was a Jewish boy named Charlie Hilsberg. As a child in 1930s Belgium he enjoyed a brief early experience with a loving and closely knit family until the Nazi invasion robbed him of his parents and an older brother and robbed them of their lives. Shaul survived. The shadow he lost was his early identity along with early memories of what happened in those early years as he was moved from home to home by caring Belgians who risked their lives to save so many Jewish children. Following the war, we learn of a different kind of survival. Shaul goes to Israel where he gets an education but adapting to the new culture is not easy.   Eventually Shaul is able to connect with other family members and other  hidden children .    We learn of his fierce loyalty to his new country and strong desire to become a physician. His drive to survive appears to motivate him to overcome barriers in his c

The Light of Days A Book Review

  The Light of Days By:   Judy Batalion Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton The Light of Days is a harrowing and tortuous journey through Poland under the body and soul crushing acts of vicious Nazi aggression experienced by courageous Jewish women who creatively energized Jewish resistance with presence, weapons, and nourishment. Some were destroyed. Some survived. My interest in World War II stems from the stories my parents told of surviving the Nazi blitz of London. Since then, I have read various accounts of the bloody global war. And my wife and I have visited World War II and Holocaust Museums around the world as we learned about the Holocaust . The Light of Days stands out from the rest because it is about the role of women in the Jewish resistance-- a subject about which I had little knowledge. I found the book difficult to read for more than one reason. Despite previous reading about the horror of the Nazi doctors and the brutality of the Nazi invaders, I was sti

Inheritance A Legacy of Hatred and the Journey to Change It Book Review

Inheritance A Legacy of Hatred and the Journey to Change It By James Moll, Director This 2006 documentary tells the story of two women with very different “inheritances” from Amon Goeth, the Nazi commandant of the Plaszow Concentration Camp in Poland. Goeth was known for his brutal murders of thousands of Jews. Monika Hertwig is the daughter of Amon Goeth and Ruth Kalder. She gradually learned bits and pieces about her father’s horrific treatment of the Jews. It would be a mistake to overlook the role of her mother who had an affair with Goeth and a troubled relationship with Monika. The Spielberg film, Schindler’s List (1993), appears at a pivotal moment in Monika’s efforts to come to grips with her family history and her own identity. Monika learns of a Jew, Helen Jonas-Rosenweig, who was a kitchen slave in her father’s manor house. Helen survived the holocaust with assistance from Oskar Schindler, whom she describes as a different kind of Nazi. Helen is in


Author: Edith Eva Eger A sixteen-year-old girl is in love. She loves to dance. She has a boyfriend. And she lives with two sisters and her parents and the attendant conflicts that come with family life. One morning in 1944, her life is violently disrupted when soldiers rip her family apart. Next, we are on a journey with her. We see her enter the bleak dream-destroying Auschwitz. We learn about survival amidst a human hell. I wasn’t excited by the novel I started during a visit to Washington DC. My wife thought I might like Eger’s book, The Choice . She was right. By the end of our DC visit, we returned to the Holocaust museum , which became a new experience through Dr. Eger's lens. I found myself looking at the faces in a new way--wondering about victims, survivors, and perpetrators in terms of life-choices. Eger’s tells her story of survival through the eyes of a young woman. We see her near death experiences, wonder at her tiny triumphs, worry about wh