Kolbuszowa is gone now. Before World War II it was a thriving, small Polish town of 4,000 people, half Polish Catholics, half Jews, where family and the traditional ways of life were strong. It was the town where Norman Salsitz was born, in 1920, the last of nine children. It was the town he helped to destroy, forced by the Nazis in 1941 to assist in the brick-by-brick destruction of the Jewish ghetto in which his family lived. Salsitz was later sent to a German work camp, but escaped into the woods to live and later to tell his story of Kolbuszowa to Richard Skolnik. Salsitz speaks to us both as an exceptional witness to everyday events in the town and as a shrewd observer of the broader landscape. Colorful details bring the people, the customs and habits, both religious and secular, back to life. He conveys how painful it often was to be Jewish in Poland even before the war. Despite the persecution, he evokes the dignity and strength of the Jewish way of life among the peasant and professional classes alike. This memoir is also a vivid portrait of childhood and adolescence. Engaging if not always well-behaved, Salsitz was an entrepreneur from an early age. Among his many business ventures was the planting of peach trees to have fruit to sell. His youthful dreams ended abruptly, forever, with the arrival of the German troops. He was never to taste the fruit of his own trees.
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Weight: 726 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 27 mm
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