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BROKEN DREAMS: A Survivor's Story by Ellen Benton Feinstein

BROKEN DREAMS: A Survivor's Story

by Ellen Benton Feinstein

190 pages
Torn apart by war, a family struggles with the aftermath

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
The current rise in anti-Semitism is due in part to the fact that the younger generations know almost nothing about the Holocaust, other than the fact that six million Jews were killed. The heart and the mind do not connect with a number, so this fact has little meaning for the reader. We tend to make an emotional connection with the personal story of someone who suffered during and after the war. That's why it is important for survivors to tell their stories. The number of survivors dwindles daily, giving a sense of urgency to this project. The devastation of war does not end when a peace treaty is signed; the destructive aftermath of war can continue for generations.

This book tells the story of one family that was torn apart by World War II. Acting on a promise she made to her sister—who was killed by the Nazis—Eda found and adopted her sister's child, who was hidden during the war by a Polish Catholic family. This set up a life-long love-hate mother-daughter relationship, filled with sacrifice, guilt, and resentment, as described in the heart of the book.

The family endured many hardships—including six months in a DP camp and a difficult sea voyage—to escape from Poland to America, only to find that they cannot escape the psychic damage of the war. Their psychic scars are manifested in their interactions with each other as well as with the people they encounter. The final chapter reveals how the daughter, after thinking for more than seventy years that she was an only child, discovers that she has a brother living in California.

 

 

About the Author
Ellen Feinstein was born in Poland at the start of World War II. After many difficult transitions with her adoptive parents, she arrived in America at the age of nine, with much to learn about the language, customs, and traditions that were second-nature to American children. She and her husband now divide their time between St. Louis and Seattle; they have two daughters.

 

 

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