web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: A Life Of Triumph


Title: A Life Of Triumph


Author: Esther Weber


Publisher: Mazo Publishers

 


 


         There has been a great deal of Holocaust literature in recent years. The works are always painful and not easy to read, but this genre of literature is taking on a special urgency as the number of eyewitnesses to this famous chapter in Jewish history is rapidly dwindling. We have a duty to pass on these stories to future generations so that the scourge of Holocaust deniers do not gain credibility and validation.

 

         The author of A Life Of Triumph is first and foremost a survivor. The horror of having to spend one’s entire childhood in hiding is difficult to comprehend, and even more difficult to reveal. Indeed, Ester Weber kept silent for 39 years, built a life and a family, and finally dedicated that life to helping wounded Israeli soldiers.

 

         Weber was born in 1937 in the small town of Vengluvka, Poland, two years before the German invasion. At 27, her mother was murdered by the Nazis trying to reach a work camp in Germany, and Esther was placed by her father with a Polish friend, Joseph Bik and his family, in an effort to save her life. They reluctantly agreed to raise her as their own baptized Christian child. Young as she was (only three), she remembered her father’s parting words: “Always remember that you are Jewish, but don’t reveal this secret to anyone because they will kill you.”

 

         One day, she was recognized by some Polish teenagers who reported the family to the police for hiding a Jewish child. She was smuggled out and sent to her 18-year-old aunt Eva in Warsaw, also in hiding and living with a Polish family while she worked as a seamstress. Her father had disappeared, and her aunt was trying to save her own life but nevertheless took the child. The wife of the Polish family greatly resented the five-year-old living with them and was cruel and abusive, despite the fact that they were being well paid for their services by the aunt. They lived close to the Warsaw ghetto where babies were often thrown from windows in an effort to save them, followed by screams and gunfire as their mothers were shot by the Nazis.

 

         In 1945, as the war was coming to an end, Germans frequently rounded up the citizens of Warsaw to kill them, rather than leave them as witnesses to their atrocities when the Russians arrived. Esther and her aunt were in the death march, but managed to escape and hide once again. Liberated by the Russians in May 1945, the two finally returned to Krzemienica, where Esther was reunited with her father.

 

         Despite the liberation, pogroms continued, and Esther and her father left via Czechoslovakia and Hungary to Salzburgh in Austria, and then to Germany, hopefully en route to the United States. Esther was registered with HIAS, an organization that sent orphans out of Europe first, with her father intending to follow her. This was 1948 and Esther was 10, alone on a boat from Bremen to Ellis Island, from where she was sent to an orphanage in the Bronx until her great-uncle in Brooklyn claimed her, welcomed her into his home, and sent her to public school.

 

         Just as she began to adjust, a letter arrived from her father with the heartbreaking news that he would not be following her, but was going to Israel to marry her Aunt Miriam. Once again abandoned, Esther was sent to live with other family members, until they too wanted her to leave. Her father never sent for her, so at age 19 in 1956 she married her 20-year-old high school sweetheart Irwin. Today, after 50 years of happy marriage, they have three children and 10 grandchildren. For many years Esther kept her past a secret and even her husband did not know her Holocaust history.

 

         It was 16 years before she saw her father again, when he came for a visit. From that time, the author – now an art dealer – made frequent visits to Israel and helped many Israeli artists get established.

 

         The family’s connection to Israel kept strengthening, and during the Lebanon War in 1982, Esther and her husband volunteered at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital, helping wounded soldiers and amputees, and enabling a number of them to visit the U.S. for rest and recreation for three weeks. The bond between them and the disabled Israeli war veterans became even stronger over the years, and they were often honored guests at their weddings. Today Esther believes that she was saved for a purpose, and she continues this work to this day.

 

         The book is liberally illustrated with old and contemporary photos. The story is very simply told, yet this somehow makes it all the more compelling. This book is a wonderful addition to the genre of Holocaust literature.

About the Author: Dvora Waysman is the author of 13 books, one of which, “The Pomegranate Pendant” was made into the movie “The Golden Pomegranate.” Born in Australia, she has lived in Jerusalem for 44 years.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: A Life Of Triumph”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky serves today as the Jewish Agency for Israel's Chairman of the Executive.
Jewish Agency’s Natan Sharansky Speaks Up for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Latest Sections Stories
Road sign in Russian and Yiddish greeting visitors on the road just outside Birobidzhan. (photo by Ben G. Frank)

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

Ayelet Shaked

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Teens-Twenties-logo

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Lewis-052215-Jewish-Soldiers-logo

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

More Articles from Dvora Waysman
Waysman-071814

How can you run away from Israel and all the things that have shaped your life?

Fireworks going off over the Knesset to mark Israel's Independence Day

Israel is so much more than a refuge for persecuted Jews.

Just imagine you are walking through a beautiful garden. Feast your eyes on the colors of the flowers, the grass at your feet, the leaves of the trees in shades from green to silver. Listen to the birds. Let the sunshine caress your face. Smell the perfume.

His dream was to reach out to every Jew, even the most secular.

This is a remarkable book to assist those of us – and that means everyone – who are trying to find our way in life, with all its setbacks and pain, as well as for people who want to help people.

Forty-six years ago, in the first week of June, Israel stunned the world when it wasn’t looking. Four years later, Israel stunned me when I wasn’t looking.

Jerusalem was never real to me. It was a name I came across in books of Bible stories as a child. If I’d ever tried to imagine it, it would have been like places in my books of fairy stories. I knew it was a city with crenellated walls, with domes and towers and minarets. In my mind, I saw it peopled with old men with long beards and flowing robes, and women with clay jugs precariously balanced on their heads.

Jews all over the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. “It’s a kind of insurance policy” one overseas friend told me. “By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-a-life-of-triumph/2007/12/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: