web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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:


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder
The Foul Stench of the Ferguson Fallout
Latest Sections Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

More Articles from Dvora Waysman
Overall view of garden model

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.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, zt”l

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.”

As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past.

One of the most popular of our chaggim is Simchat Torah, which falls on the last day of Sukkot. As its name suggests, Simchat Torah celebrates the joy of the Torah. There is no record of this holiday before the 11th century, and its origin may have been in Spain.

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: