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Your search for the Topic: Personal reflections.

Volume 1

Book Title: Out of the Ghetto
Book Author: Jack Klajman with Ed Klajman
Number of Pages: (148)
Original Publication Date (in English): 2000
Book Focus: A young Polish boy survives in Warsaw alone, comes to England after the war, and emigrates to Canada; the events in the book take place between 22 April 1931 and 1958.

Reference:
". . . one day the Germans would be defeated and life would return to normal. Until then, our approach was to live for the moment, hoping to be around the next hour and the next day, and hoping that soon life would get better. You truly had to believe that. Survival is impossible without hope, even if it is false hope."
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Volume 1

Book Title: Dottore! Internment in Italy, 1940-1945
Book Author: Dr. Salim Diamand
Number of Pages: (159)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1987
Book Focus: A Polish Jew comes to Italy to complete his medical training, spends the war in Italian internment camps and in hiding in the countryside, and after the war becomes a camp doctor in Italian refugee camps until he emigrates to Canada; the events described take place between 18 June 1940 and 6 December 1950.

Reference:
"Throughout my years of confinement in various camps during the war years in Italy, I never found racism in Italians . . . I never found any Italians who approached me, as a Jew, with the idea of exterminating my race."
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Volume 1

Book Title: Of Blood and Hope
Book Author: Samuel Pisar
Number of Pages: (311)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1980
Book Focus: A young boy from Bialystok, Poland, survives Soviet occupation, Auschwitz, and several slave labour camps, and becomes a noted international lawyer.

Reference:
"One of the most salient lessons I have brought out of the jungle that waited for me at the end of my cattle-train journey from home is that a human being has a surprising, an infinite, capacity to endure and to invent, even in the most unimaginable conditions, provided he has the will. Neither hunger nor pain, neither horror nor fear has ever shaken me in this belief."
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Volume 2

Book Title: Love in a World of Sorrow
Book Author: Fanya Gottesfeld Heller
Number of Pages: (282)
Original Publication Date (in English): 2005
Book Focus: Fanya, a young teen-aged girl in the Ukraine (who is fifteen in 1939) survives with her parents and younger brother in hiding in their home town; her father is killed after liberation. The memoir takes place between her birth in 1924, and her engagement to another survivor in July 1945.

Reference:
" 'Uberleben', the Yiddish word for 'survival', spelled doubt for me. Survive another day - and then what? All I could imagine was a ruined world populated by creatures out of a painting by Bosch who would torture me with hells I had not yet experienced. To live - if that word could be used for what we were doing in our coop - to live 'uber', 'over, beyond,' our current existence, what did it mean: 'over' in the sense of above it, disembodied, floating over everything as in a dream? Did it mean a challenge to prevail beyond physical existence?"
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Volume 2

Book Title: Strange and Unexpected Love
Book Author: Fanya Gottesfeld Heller
Number of Pages: (282)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1993
Book Focus: Fanya, a young teen-aged girl in the Ukraine (who is fifteen in 1939) survives with her parents and younger brother in hiding in their home town; her father is killed after liberation. The memoir takes place between her birth in 1924, and her engagement to another survivor in July 1945.

Reference:
" 'Uberleben', the Yiddish word for 'survival', spelled doubt for me. Survive another day - and then what? All I could imagine was a ruined world populated by creatures out of a painting by Bosch who would torture me with hells I had not yet experienced. To live - if that word could be used for what we were doing in our coop - to live 'uber', 'over, beyond,' our current existence, what did it mean: 'over' in the sense of above it, disembodied, floating over everything as in a dream? Did it mean a challenge to prevail beyond physical existence?"
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Volume 2

Book Title: From Thessaloniki to Auschwitz and Back
Book Author: Erika Kounio Amariglio
Number of Pages: (157)
Original Publication Date (in English): 2000
Book Focus: Erika, a teen-aged Greek girl (who is thirteen in 1939) is deported with her parents and brother to Auschwitz, where she and her mother work in the Gestapo office as translators. The four survive and return home. The events take place between 1924 when her parents meet, and 1965 when she returns with her mother to Auschwitz as part of an International Conference of Auschwitz Survivors.

Reference:
"The orders fell like the blows of a whip, one after the other. Confused, overwhelmed, terrified the Jews succumbed to their fate. 'After all, they will be together again, wherever they are brought.' Hadn't the rabbi confirmed that they would all be reunited in Cracow? Hadn't they all changed their money to Polish zlotys? 'Let's not make things worse than they are. The main thing is to keep families together!' Optimism and hope always had the upper hand. 'We are going through a bad time, but it will end!' "
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Volume 2

Book Title: All But My Life
Book Author: Gerda Weissmann Klein
Number of Pages: (246)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1957
Book Focus: Gerda, a young Polish girl (who is fifteen in 1939) survives slave labour camps and death marches and is liberated by an American Jewish soldier; the events take place between 3 September 1939 and 13 September 1945.

Reference:
"Survival is both an exalted privilege and a painful burden. . . . The acuteness of those recollections often penetrates the calm of my daily life, forcing me to confront painful truths but clarifying much through the very act of evocation. I have learned, for the most part, to deal with those truths, knowing well that a painful memory brought into focus by a current incident still hurts, but also that the pain will recede - as it has - and ultimately fade away."
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Volume 3

Book Title: Survival in Auschwitz, the Nazi Assault on Humanity
Book Author: Primo Levi
Number of Pages: (157)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1959
Book Focus: Primo, a young Italian, who was twenty in 1939, is deported from Italy to Auschwitz where he survives for almost a year; the events recorded take place between his arrest on 13 December 1943 and his liberation by Soviet forces in Auschwitz on 27 January 1945.

Reference:
"It is November, it has been raining for ten days now and the ground is like the bottom of a swamp. . . . It is lucky that it is not windy today. Strange, how in some way one always has the impression of being fortunate, how some chance happening, perhaps infinitesimal, stops us crossing the threshold of despair and allows us to live."
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Volume 3

Book Title: The Janowska Road
Book Author: Leon Weliczker Wells
Number of Pages: (320)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1963
Book Focus: Leon, from Lvov in Poland, who was fourteen in 1939, survives Soviet occupation and two internments in the Janowska Camp, and in hiding in Lvov. The events described take place between his birth in 1925, and his emigration to the United States in 1949.

Reference:
"How happy one would be to be free! . . . If one should ask that man there, walking with his wife and two children, whether he is happy, he would perhaps say 'no'. He probably would like to have this or that; he doesn't know how happy he should be to have his freedom, and to be with his dear ones. We cannot even hope for that; we've already lost ours."
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Volume 3

Book Title: By Bread Alone, The Story of A-4685
Book Author: Mel Mermelstein
Number of Pages: (255)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1979
Book Focus: Mel, from Munkacs in Hungary, who is twelve in 1939, survives Auschwitz, slave labour, and concentration camps. The events described take place from the German entry into his home town in March 1944 to Mel's arrival in America on 31 August 1946.

Reference:
". . . never before in recorded history has man revealed himself more than during this period. The mask of mankind had dropped and we must therefore take the opportunity to learn what it is in man that makes it possible for such a Holocaust to occur."
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Volume 3

Book Title: Fragments of Memory, From Kolin To Jerusalem
Book Author: Hana Greenfield
Number of Pages: (110)
Original Publication Date (in English): 1998
Book Focus: Hana, from Kolin, Czechoslovakia, who is thirteen in 1939, is deported with her sister and mother to Theresienstadt for two years, then she is deported to Auschwitz, and to slave labour camps in Germany. She becomes a Holocaust scholar and lecturer. The events described take place between 1941 and her post-war work as a Holocaust scholar and teacher.

Reference:
After a recent visit to Kolin: ". . . I wondered how different our fate might have been if the Czech people had stood up for the Jews who for centuries had thought they were an integral part of that nation."
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Volume 3

Book Title: Good Beyond Evil, Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
Book Author: Eva Gossman
Number of Pages: (129)
Original Publication Date (in English): 2002
Book Focus: Eva, from Presov in Slovakia, who was eight years old in 1939, survives in hiding with her parents and siblings; they are hidden by a Slovak woman and her young daughter, who were later honoured by Yad Vashem. The author became a philosopher, and focuses her memoir on the moral implications of those who saved and those who were saved. The events described take place between 1939 when Slovakia signed a Treaty of Protection with Germany, and 1977 when Vlasta and her mother are recognized and honoured by Yad Vashem.

Reference:
"Assessing the gradual unfolding of events from the secure position of the present, we may have to accept the fact that we suffered from a lack of imagination about the depth of depravity and inhumanity with which a legitimately-constituted government could act against its own citizens. The Jews of Slovakia, and those in most other countries occupied or allied with the Reich, paid a high price for living with hope."
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