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Holocaust Memoir: Hank Brodt -A Candle and a Promise by Deborah Donnelly


I received this book yesterday via e-mail from Amsterdam Publishers, and I spent all of last evening reading from beginning to end.

I know I have many friends, social networking friends and followers who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust, but are unsure as to where to start, or are hesitant to read about or see photos of mass execution, slaughter and such horrid mistreatment done to humans by humans.

No matter how wrong or horrid, history must be told. Lessons need to be learned, memories need to be shared, so nothing like this ever happens again.

I highly recommend this book if this time in History interests you.

Hank tells his story to his youngest daughter, and she transcribes it by pen and paper. He did not want it audio recorded. His daughter is trained in trauma, so she was supportive and careful with her father during his telling of his story.

Reading this book is like sitting in the living room with Hank while he shares his experiences. You could feel his strength and warmth come through the pages.

This book is full of photos (some are sad photos but not graphic, and photos of his family are included), and the personal letters at the end touched my heart.

Hank carried this story deep inside of him for years, because…how do you share something so horrid with your loved ones?

He raised a happy, healthy family, how do you even begin to explain or share the horror you faced at such a young age?

Finally, after much discussion and consideration, he decided to share.

I am so glad he did. His story needed telling. It is a story we all need to hear.

Again, if you are interested in the Holocaust and are unsure where to start, I suggest starting with this book. I believe teenagers would be able to handle this book as well.

I read a lot of Holocaust books and memoirs, but this one will definitely stick with me for awhile.

I wish I could personally thank Hank and his family for sharing this story.

Here is the Amazon link for purchase.


Jewish Presence in Absence (The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland 1944-2010) Edited by Feliks Tych and Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska

Jewish prescence in abscenceThis book is a thorough  and informative discussion and study of life in Postwar Poland.

Every day life did not just automatically begin again for survivors of the Holocaust.

Relationships, opinions and politics had all changed, and many returned without a home or job, or even the non-Jewish friends they once had.

Many Jewish Poles left belongings with non-Jewish friends, and upon going to retrieve these items, discovered the friend had often sold them, as they were not expecting their Jewish friend to survive or return.

This book also includes the shift in the approach of Jewish Culture after the 1970’s, and how this time in history is currently taught to today’s youth.

Detailed and exhaustively researched, this book of discussion is a combination of articles that were presented at an international conference at Yad Vashem in October 2010.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Holocaust, as there are few volumes of work out there that detail life, politics, and policies, after the war was over.

I received this book from Yad Vashem in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the purchase link

The Struggle of Identity and Belonging for Survivors of the Holocaust

Holocaust coverI received this book on behalf of Yad Vashem in return for an honest review. It will be available for purchase on September 20, 2014 at Amazon. This books contains heavily researched essays of those who survived the Holocaust, who struggled with their identity and searched for their unique voice. It covers the loss of their traditions and search for a meaningful life. Well rounded excellent research. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in this period of History, and it would be a good starter book for those just stepping into these types of readings. So many books cover the time pre-Holocaust and there are many Diaries/Journals and writings of the Holocaust experience. This is a fresh take on the events following the conflict.


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