4 out of 4 stars
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Growing up in Borås, a small town in south-western Sweden, Shlomo Liberman could only imagine what his parents went through during the Holocaust. Both were survivors and the events surrounding their heart-breaking experiences were only whispered in their home. Like many other survivors, Wolf and Gela Liberman chose to forget, never again willing to retrieve the agonizing memories. While studying in Israel, Shlomo Liberman was encouraged to write about his parents’ accounts during World War II. The result is a painful but moving revelation of the resilience of his parents who even after their harrowing and traumatic experiences were able to rebuild their lives and start a family.
I loved reading Lost Memories and New Beginnings by Shlomo Liberman as it reminds of the tragic experiences of Holocaust survivors. Their accounts need to be written and retold so as to ensure such an event never reoccurs. Every time I read a story connected to the disturbing occurrences of WWII, there is always something new to learn and such was the case when I was reading Lost Memories and New Beginnings. Both Wolf and Gela lost many of their relatives during this time and Wolf was days away from death resulting from starvation when they were liberated.
The narration is complemented by photos that help in explaining the accounts further as they give a glimpse of the circumstances during the war. One photo captures the entrance of the Lodz Ghetto which was established by Nazi Germans. As explained in the book, the inhabitants were later transported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Another photo shows Chaim Rumkowski holding a public speech. It reminds of his infamous speech that he delivered, out of coercion from the Nazi German authorities.
I also liked that the story traces the lives of the main characters after the war and how each struggled to move forward from their horrific past and start living in a new country. Even after liberation, most survivors had to struggle to find a job and it was not until later that Wolf and Gela were granted permanent residency in Sweden. The unauthorized movement to particular places was also banned and they were required to settle in specific parts of the country. Still, they were determined not to allow Hitler’s vision of the Jews to prevail. A community was formed in their new hometown to educate other generations of their Jewish heritage including their cuisine, customs, and values.
Lost Memories and New Beginnings by Shlomo Liberman is well edited and I did not spot any errors. I also did not identify any aspects of it that I did not like. I only wish the book was longer. Readers interested in reading the accounts of Holocaust survivors will love reading the book. It may not appeal to readers who are not attracted to historical content. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars.
Lost Memories and New Beginnings
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