TO LIFE by Ruth Minsky Sender
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Still holding last to her mother's precept--""Where there is life, there is hope""--the author continues her profoundly moving autobiography. The Cage (1986) concerned her Holocaust experiences; here, she begins with her liberation from Auschwitz and concludes with her arrival in the US in 1950. Even after the war, Jewish survivors were not welcome. Starving and cold, ""Riva"" and her companions are shunned by local Germans; the Russian soldiers who commandeer food and shelter for them, then try to rape them. In Poland, her homeland, there are vigilantes who murder Jews found on trains or in hospitals, and she is robbed by the trucker smuggling her to Germany. There, she must wait five years in a refugee camp before being admitted to another country. Meanwhile, the courage that made her a survivor shapes a new life: with passionate determination to carry on, she marries immediately and bears a son a year later. The painful search for family is rewarded: two sisters and a brother have survived in Russia. The intense love the survivors feel for one another and especially for Jewish children is sustaining, inspiring--and presages inevitable trauma in years to come. In the present tense, reported without rancor, Sender's memorable story inspires reverence for life, as well as anger at man's inhumanity, and wonder at the healing power that allowed so many of these people not only to keep their sanity but to go on to productive lives. Beautiful writing, full of love, unforgettable.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Macmillan