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Holocaust

“The Lost Family” Covers Marriage and Love Post-WWII

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Jenna Blum, author of the bestseller Those Who Save Us, is back with another novel, one that is equally heartbreaking and haunting. Covering topics of grief and love, Blum artfully and skillfully reminds us that the past never seems to stay there, and that the repercussions can still be felt decades and generations later. The Lost Family begins in 1965 Manhattan. World War II may be over, but the memories are always present for Peter Rashkin, who survived Auschwitz, but lost his wife and daughters. Now, trying to make a new life for himself, he becomes the owner and head chef of a restaurant called Masha, a namesake to his lost wife. People from all over come to eat and savor the…

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The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice

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A few years ago I received a surreal phone call telling me there had been a murder. Whaaaat? A crate had been discovered. It had been hidden on our property. We opened it. And nothing could have prepared us for the horror inside. My first book, The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice, is not a book I expected to write. I live an ordinary little life in Connecticut as a publicist, wife and mother. I always imagined writing a romance, maybe, or even a historical fiction, since that’s my favorite genre to read. From my little bubble, I never thought I’d be telling the true story of a violent crime that rocked my family. The discovery…

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‘The Eves of Our Destruction’: Can Citizens be Ignorant and Free at the Same Time?

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As authors, we tend to specialize in writing fiction or nonfiction. A few writers are able to successfully write both entertaining fiction and erudite nonfiction but in a terrible irony, increasingly, our society seems to be so easily manipulated in blurring the distinction. In 1816 in a letter to John Adams, Jefferson wrote, “bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant.” I have been wondering lately if it is possible to be free and ignorant at the same time. This is very troubling to me because in the last few years and particularly this year, what counts for knowledge and facts has been so blurred, I don’t think we can know the difference.…

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3 Ways I Live from My Deathbed Every Single Day

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Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning My boyfriend and I have been talking a lot about death lately. For a couple in our early twenties, this topic certainly isn’t something we’re expected to be dealing with. And while we’re not at the age where we should be getting our affairs in order or…

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Pressing on after the Holocaust: In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen

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As a pre-teen, I went through a phase where I read every novel I could about the Holocaust. Late at night I would hide under my blanket with a flashlight, pouring over the devastating details of ghettos and death camps, devouring stories about young girls like me facing an evil that seemed so impossible when compared to my modern, American, middle-class life. In eighth grade I remember visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, ignoring the signs that read “Do Not Touch,” and running my fingers along the inside of a boxcar—on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland—thinking that it was somehow important to touch the rough wood, that I was paying tribute to the people who had…

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