Ruth Klein’s story is about merchants and landownersaristocratic Polish Jews. It’s about their lives in refugee and concentration camps. About parents who survived the Holocaust but could not overcome the tragedy they had experienced, and about their children, who became indirect victims of the atrocities endured by Holocaust victims.
After their liberation, Ruth’s parents were brought to the Displaced Person Camps in Germany, where they awaited departure to the United States. They were traumatized, starving, and impoverishedbut they were among the survivors.
Once in America, however, their struggles didn’t end. Nearly penniless, Ruth’s familyand the close-knit group of Polish refugees they belonged towere placed for settlement in Los Angeles, where they lived in poverty only a few miles away from the wealth and glamor of Hollywood and Beverly Hills in the early 1950s. Ruth tells how, time after time, her parents had their dreams broken, only to rebuild them again. She also shares what it was like to grow up with parents who were permanently damaged by the effects of the war. Theirs was a dysfunctional household; her parents found great joy and delight moving through life’s experiences in their new country, yet tumult and discord colored their world as well. As a young girl, Ruth developed a passionate relationship with the piano, which allowed her to express a wide range of feelings through her musicand survive the chaos at home. Full of both humor and unfathomable tragedy, Surviving the Survivors is Ruth’s story of growing up in an environment unique in time and place, and of how, ultimately, her upbringing gave her a keen appreciation for the value of life and made her, like her parents, a survivor.
|Publisher:||She Writes Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Ruth Klein was born in Berlin, Germany and arrived in America as a three-year-old with her parents and older sister. She grew up in Southern California and later moved to Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area. Since early childhood, her training in classical music has been the focal point of her life. Growing up surrounded by the history of the Holocaust, she and her sister developed a keen understanding of the impact of the Holocaust on the worldan understanding that led her to write this memoir. Klein taught piano in Houston, Texas, for twenty-three years. Her other interests include the fine arts, literature, and foreign languages. She still lives in Houston with her husband, a biomedical scientist.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Replacement 17
Chapter 2 Bronia and Mietek 25
Chapter 3 The Unspeakable Cold 33
Chapter 4 "DaVorne Steht Amerika!" (There Ahead Stands America!") 39
Chapter 5 City Terrace 47
Chapter 6 Our Crowd 57
Chapter 7 Replacing the Dead 69
Chapter 8 Uncle Josef and Aunt Roselle 81
Chapter 9 The Twins Arrive 97
Chapter 10 The Sensational Seder 105
Chapter 11 Memories 111
Chapter 12 My Sister, Sarah 129
Chapter 13 High School 139
Chapter 14 Oaths and Vows 151
Chapter 15 The Great Escape 161
Chapter 16 In the Years That Followed 167
Chapter 17 Piano Lesson 181
Chapter 18 Second Generation 187
Chapter 19 Pnina 193
About the Author 213