The details of my (and my brother´s) birth are unknown. My memories begin in Latvia. DNA tests strongly indicate that we are of Belarusian-Jewish origin, meaning that we might have been born in southeastern Latvia or in Belarus bordering on southern Latvia. Our mother is listed as ´´Miss Sinegins´´ in our personal records. Russian authorities stated our years of birth, mine 1937, my brother´s 1939. We plucked the specific dates out a bowl. In 1943, I was about 6, my brother about 4 or 5, when our assumed mother felt it necessary to turn us over to the Baldone Children´s Home in Latvia due to ill health and extreme poverty. About a year later, the orphans and caretakers at that home trekked to Riga, Latvia´s capital city, to be transported to the Majori Children´s Home. We were there but a few months when we all were transported by ship, under German oversight, to Germany in October, 1944. We along with many other orphans resided at several homes and residences. Approximately half of our group of 130 orphans was transported to America after the war. Some died. Many were transported to other countries, and some remained in Germany due to ill health or other factors. My brother and I resided in foster homes and at a children´s home in St, Paul, Minnesota, until 1950, when we were adopted by the Rev. Victor Boe, former Dean of Men at Concordia College, and Hilda Boe, former librarian at the college. I became a Lutheran pastor like my adoptive father. Following ordination, I served as a missionary in Nigeria. I have served at many parishes, and continue to minister at a small congregation in Iowa at age 80. My prayer is that this book will fulfill the will and mission of God in Jesus Christ. The most effective means of achieving this is through direct person-to-person communication, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of the Spirit, this and all other publications have no meaning or purpose. Words and inert objects alone cannot transmit God´s power, and we cannot convert anyone to the way of Christ. He does this through us, at his own timing and initiative. His light always conquers all forces of darkness. When we try to pressure anyone toward change, freedom of choice may manifest in resistance and rebellion. Through the Spirit, my hope is that every reader of this book will obtain inner strength for daily living, through the most difficult times in life´s journey. Go and seek out a genuine, live Christian. Open your inner eyes, unblocked by prejudice and self-worship, and see the stars and saints of light all around you! There are multitudes! Life in Christ is a day-by-day miracle, totally impossible by any human strength or ambition. If Christ and his empowerment are not present at our very weakest point, he is not our savior at all. When we become fully rooted in Christ, we become a new creation, beautiful and wonderful! Jesus is ever at your door, knocking to walk into your life. Let him in, now, during this life! Without him, all the highest glories of this life evaporate, guaranteed. Choose life over death, joy over sorrow, harmony over conflict and war! Jesus says we cannot be held accountable for what we do not know. May this and similar testimonies tear away your inner blinds, forever, for your sake and eternal destiny! Hope, light, and joy lie before us all!
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour. The Holocaust, in which 11 million people died, was the largest atrocity of the 20th century and perhaps the hardest to understand. Approximately 6 million Jews and 5 million others including Roma people, Poles, Russian prisoners of war, political prisoners, homosexuals, people of colour, Jehovah´s Witnesses, and various other minorities were first persecuted and then murdered. How, both morally and logistically, had this came to happen? From received sentiments of anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 20th century, through the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and finally Second World War, the victimisation of these minorities intensified beyond precedent. With the complicity of a nation hatred became policy. Under the control of sadists, bureaucrats and even ordinary soldiers, irrational acts were then enacted on an industrial scale, and with the use of concentration camps, Western Europe witnessed its most shocking treatment of humanity in modern history. Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jonathan Keeble. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hcuk/001474/bk_hcuk_001474_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Irene Gut was just 17 in 1939, when the Germans and Russians devoured her native Poland. Just a girl, really. But a girl who saw evil and chose to defy it. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Hope Davis. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/lili/001852/bk_lili_001852_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
I was born in the town of Wegrow in north-eastern Poland in 1938. Not a propitious time and place for a Jewish child to be born. One memory that has been etched indelibly in my mind is the sight of the Nazi army marching toward Russia. Our house was located on the main road leading to the Russian frontier. Day and night they marched - soldiers, trucks, tanks, and more soldiers, in a never-ending line - an invincible force. I remember my father, holding me in his arms, saying to my mother, ´´Who is going to stop them? Certainly not the Russians.´´ One night, my father had a dream. In this dream he saw what he had to do: where to build the bunker, how to build it, and even its dimensions. He would build a bunker under a wooden storage shed behind the house. It would be covered with boards, on top of which would be placed soil and bits of straw to render it invisible. To camouflage the entrance, he would construct a shallow box and fill it with earth and straw. Air would be supplied through a drain pipe buried in the earth. This was to be our Noah´s Ark that would save us from the initial deluge. It took my father three weeks to finish the job. When he was done, he took my mother and sister into the shed and asked them if they could find the trap door. When they could not, he was satisfied. My mother prepared dry biscuits, jars of jam made out of beets, some tinned goods such as sardines, some sugar and salt. We placed two buckets in the bunker. One was filled with water, the other would serve as the latrine. We also took down some blankets, a couple of pillows and some warm clothing. We were ready. For three long years, starting in 1941 when the Nazis started the deportations and mass killings, we hid in secret bunkers, dug in fields, under sheds and houses, or constructed in barn lofts. It seems the only way a Jew could survive in wartime Poland was to become invisible. So we became invisible Jews. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Norman Gilligan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/104021/bk_acx0_104021_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
For half a century, a terrible secret lay hidden, locked in a trunk in an attic... photos, official documents, and scraps of a diary written by a young girl. ´´The time has come when I must share my life story... some facts from the past that could make a contribution, however small it may be, to the history of mankind.´´ The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl. For half a century, she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk. Late in life, she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world. Nonna´s story is one of suffering, torture, and death - but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it´s also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Rebecca Gallagher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/oasi/000549/bk_oasi_000549_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jewish historian Zosa Szajkowski gathered up tens of thousands of documents from Nazi buildings in Berlin and, later, public archives and private synagogues in France and moved them all, illicitly, to New York. In The Archive Thief, Lisa Moses Leff reconstructs Szajkowski´s story in all its ambiguity. Born into poverty in Russian Poland, Szajkowski first made his name in Paris as a communist journalist. In the late 1930s, as he saw the threats to Jewish safety rising in Europe, he broke with the party and committed himself to defending his people in a new way, as a scholar associated with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Following a harrowing 1941 escape from France and US army service, Szajkowski struggled to remake his life as a historian, eking out a living as a YIVO archivist in postwar New York. His scholarly output was tremendous nevertheless; he published scores of studies on French Jewish history that opened up new ways of thinking about Jewish emancipation, modernization, and the rise of modern antisemitism. But underlying Szajkowski´s scholarly accomplishments were the documents he stole, moved, and eventually sold to American and Israeli research libraries, where they remain today. Part detective story, part analysis of the construction of history, The Archive Thief offers a window into the debates over the rightful ownership of contested Jewish archives and the powerful ideological, economic, and psychological forces that have made Jewish scholars care so deeply about preserving the remnants of their past. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Suzanne Toren. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/023515/bk_adbl_023515_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Beyond the Barbed Wire: An Artists View of the Holocaust is the story of Ben Altman and the miracle of life. As a child, Ben wanted to become a painter, but his life circumstances did not allow that freedom; instead he learned the practical skills of a tailor. During World War II, Ben´s first wife and son were captured and taken to Auschwitz. After spending the night together on the streets of a ghetto in Poland, they were separated when Ben left them in the early morning to find work. He never saw them again. Later, Ben was also captured by the Nazis and placed in five different camps around Poland.Ben survived the camps because his skills were useful to the Nazis. After his camp was freed by the Russians, Ben went on to live in San Francisco and to make his living as a tailor, eventually becoming the official tailor for the San Francisco Opera House.It was after his retirement that a lifetime of memories poured out of him, and onto his canvases. The images of his dreams and emotions are not only a powerful reminder of a brutal period in his life and in human history, but they are also an inspiration and a reminder that our thoughts create who we are. Featuring commentary and insight by Fred Alan Wolf, best selling author and star of the hit film What the Bleep Do We Know?, Beyond the Barbed Wire is testament of the human will to survive and transcend even the most horrifying and powerless situations, while never losing hope and never losing sight of our dreams. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Fred Alan Wolf. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/real/000174/rt_real_000174_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Edith Beer starts her story by remembering a fellow nurse who illegally bought an onion to feed to a dying Russian soldier. Beer explains that she, a nurse´s aide, could have caused trouble for her fellow nurses because the Nazi regime frowned upon forming friendships with prisoners or with people who were not Nordic Aryans. Beer explains that many of the other nurses would have caused trouble for her because they bought into the propaganda, truly believing that they were better than the foreign prisoners they served. Instead of bartering for food to give to the injured prisoners, they were more likely to steal food from the prisoners, to bring that food home so the nurses could feed their own hungry families. Most of the prisoners in Brandenburg were not actually injured in war but injured in their servitude; having been conquered, they were forced to work in factories full of industrial accidents. Beer explains that she was transferred from this ward of injured prisoners to work in the maternity ward because someone tattled on her, saying she was too friendly with the foreigners. Informers to the Gestapo were everywhere. Before the war, Beer was a law student in Austria, but as the war grew and Germany spread, her name was put on a wanted list. To avoid persecution, she became a U-boat; a Jewish person living with a secret identity in the heart of Germany. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Laura Copland. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/059280/bk_acx0_059280_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
By way of introducing my listeners to a special world, often known only to the orthodox Chassidic Jewish community, I have selected to share my experiences as an eight-year-old American boy. I am the third of nine children, the oldest boy and named after my deeply Chassidic great-grandfather, Eliyahu. It was thought that in order for me to give honor to his name I should be exposed to the lifestyle he and his family lived. As a young child I was moved from a modern American orthodox home to my grandparents´ home located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. There I met a new type of Jew, Hungarian Jews, refugees from Europe. Many had their children born in ´´displaced person camps.´´ They had just arrived with their families to New York after a hard-earned escape from the Russian suppression of Hungary in 1957. While living with my grandparents, called Upa and Uma, I learned how to live and dress in a Chassidic lifestyle. I learned to love my teacher, called Rebbe, and my classmates. In the 1950s, almost all of my classmates were children of the infamous Auschwitz deportees from Hungary. Most teachers had branded tattooed numbers on their arm, physical reminders of inhuman cruelties. I remember visiting a family with my Uma, and being told by the mother, ´´How lucky you are yingela, sonny-boy, that you have a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, uncles, aunts, and even grandparents. The only thing I have left from Germany is this!´´ She shoved her arm with the blue numbers in front of me. Other times, my Jewish teacher, a survivor of the camps, would cry in class, thinking of the suffering he and his family had experienced. Many of the school children were from second marriages. Either their father´s or mother´s first spouse had been killed. It wasn´t uncommon for children to have half brothers and sisters who were 10 or 15 years older than they. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Shlomo Zacks. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/027356/bk_acx0_027356_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
This is the first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism. The book´s unique blend of intellectual, religious, and social history offers perspectives on the movement´s leaders as well as its followers, and demonstrates that, far from being a throwback to the Middle Ages, Hasidism is a product of modernity that forged its identity as a radical alternative to the secular world. Hasidism originated in southeastern Poland, in mystical circles centered on the figure of Israel Baal Shem Tov, but it was only after his death in 1760 that a movement began to spread. Challenging the notion that Hasidism ceased to be a creative movement after the eighteenth century, this book argues that its first golden age was in the nineteenth century, when it conquered new territory, won a mass following, and became a mainstay of Jewish Orthodoxy. World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Holocaust decimated eastern European Hasidism. But following World War II, the movement enjoyed a second golden age, growing exponentially. Today, it is witnessing a remarkable renaissance in Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world.