The Choice by Irene Eber
Poland, 1939-1945

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A Holocaust survivor’s powerful story of escape and renewal.

In 1980, at the age of fifty, Irene Eber returned to her father’s hometown of Mielec, Poland, where she and her middle-class Jewish family had first gone in 1938 when they were expelled one evening from their home in Germany. Her journey back would unleash a life’s worth of memories, and the result is this extraordinary book.

Eber re-creates life in wartime Mielec: the rivalries and opportunism, the acts of courage and generosity, the constant fear borne by the Jewish community, and the moment in 1942 when the Germans marched all of Mielec’s Jews out of town and toward the death camps. And she reveals what was perhaps the defining decision of her life: when an opportunity arose for her to escape, Irene left, despite her father’s desperate wish that the family stay together. Thus began her life-long journey toward reconciling her lifesaving grasp at freedom with her heartbreaking separation from her family, setting her on a path to self-acceptance.

In describing her survivor’s guilt, despair, and loss—and how she has managed to overcome them while still honoring her past—Irene Eber has made a significant and profoundly moving contribution to the literature of the Holocaust.

About Irene Eber

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published January 1, 2004 by Schocken. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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In the next few years, sheltered by a Polish family that refused to join in the hatred, she became certain that she was the only one of her family left alive--and, moreover, she writes, “I eventually was convinced that I was the only Jew left alive.” Eber’s memoir is always affecting, her writing...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this moving memoir, Eber, a scholar of East Asian studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describes her life during WWII and after, and while she presents considerable historical information, her story focuses on war's cruel ability to manipulate human emotions, and the devastating mark it ...

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