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In this award-winning book, Karen Treiger tells of Sam Goldberg’s escaped from the Treblinka Death Camp during the prisoner revolt on August 2, 1943. Running to the woods, Sam met Esther, who was hiding there. For another year until liberation, they hid together in barns and in a pit in the forest. The author, married to Sam and Esther’s son, uncovers details of their wartime experiences and travels to Poland to meets the families of the Righteous Gentiles who helped them survive. The dead of Poland speak loudly from the ashes, but the living find new voices. The author listens to these voices and finds her own in the process.
“This extraordinary book enables the reader to see the Holocaust through two different lenses. Each lens gives us a compelling view of a world, far from our present reality, which we need to know. Each lens opens a gate and leads us into a reality from which we return transformed. This book which started as a gift of love from the author to her survivor parents-in-law, turns out to be a gift of seeing life anew to every reader. It enables us – no, it compels us-to see our everyday lives in a new dimension of appreciation, meaning and purpose. I urge everyone to look deeply into this book and accept its priceless gift of a new life.”
Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, President Emeritus, CLAL, United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 2000-2002.
Having read other Holocaust books, and having learned the general arc of this story before reading it, I was startled by how struck I still was, repeatedly while reading, at just how improbable it all was. Improbable that the characters would survive unspeakable tragedy, improbable that they would be helped by such compassionate friends, improbable that they would find each other and create a now-large family of their own, improbable that it would be possible - after so much death and cover-up - to tell their story with so much detail and care. While Sam and Esther's story (the first half of the book) is in itself worthy of film, the telling of the journey to capture that story (the second half of the book) was compelling and emotional, and pressing in a time when so many survivors are leaving this world.