Michael Benanav Talks at Los Alamos Jewish Center About Grandparent’s Holocaust Survival Sept. 5

‘The Luck of the Jews.’ Courtesy/amazon.com

LAJC News:

Dixon resident Michael Benanav will be speaking at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5 at the Los Alamos Jewish Center about his book ‘The Luck of the Jews,’ the story of his grandparents survival of the Holocaust.

The community is invited to attend this talk.

One December night in 1944, while sailing across the Black Sea on the deck of a refugee ship filled with Jews fleeing the Nazi genocide in Europe, Joshua Szereny met Isadora Rosen.

He was 23, from Czechoslovakia; she was 20, from Romania. Both had lost nearly everything in the war – yet in their chance encounter at sea, they found a new beginning. Three days later, on a train rattling across the Turkish countryside en route to Palestine, with no common language between them, they were married … and spent the rest of their lives together.

Isadora had emerged from the brutal, frozen ghettos of Transnistria – known as the ‘Forgotten Cemetery’ of the Holocaust. Joshua had escaped from the Hungarian Army’s slave labor corps as his unit was being marched toward a train to Auschwitz.

In his book The Luck of the Jews: An Incredible Story of Loss, Love and Survival in the Holocaust, their grandson, prize-winning author Michael Benanav, traces the improbable twists and turns that pulled Joshua and Isadora through the horrors of the Shoah. As their families were destroyed and their own lives nearly lost, each element of their experiences – including a photograph of a Hungarian general; a mismatched pair of galoshes; a Romanian Orthodox priest; an SS officer’s wife; and maybe, on one occasion, an angel – proved crucial to getting them out of the war and onto that boat. 

Praise for The Luck of The Jews (First published by Lyons Press as Joshua & Isadora: A True Tale of Loss & Love in the Holocaust):

“Movingly written, Michael Benanav’s search for his grandparents’ tragic memories and experiences brings the reader closer to an ineffable truth that must not be forgotten.” –Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Winner, author of Night

“A harrowing wartime saga [and] an intriguing record of Holocaust survival written with passion and authority.”–Publishers Weekly

“Important and gripping.”Hindustan Times

“A tale of suffering, romance and redemption in Israel… What stands out about this story is its ability to bring Southeastern Europe and Bessarabia, a southern Yiddish-speaking region in today’s Moldova, into focus. The narrative is highly imagistic, often relying on crisp depictions of Jews moving through the landscape to power a story of loss.” The Jewish Daily Forward

Learn more here.