Surviving the Survivors: A Memoir
Surviving the Survivors: A Memoir

Surviving the Survivors: A Memoir

by Ruth Klein

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Ruth Klein’s story is about merchants and landowners—aristocratic 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 impoverished—but they were among the survivors.

Once in America, however, their struggles didn’t end. Nearly penniless, Ruth’s family—and the close-knit group of Polish refugees they belonged to—were 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 music—and 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631524714
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 1,241,025
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 world—an 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

Foreword 11

Introduction 15

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

Acknowledgements 209

References 211

About the Author 213

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