Life Beyond the Holocaust - Knoxville, Tennessee, 2005 - First Edition - Memoirs of the survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp Mira Ryczke Kimmelman (1923-2019) - One of the sole survivors of the death march at the end of the war. Dedicated copy by author.
When the Germans invaded Poland, she and eighteen members of her family were separated from their non-Jewish neighbors and placed in the Warsaw Ghetto. There they suffered from hunger, bitter cold and typhus. Even before the war, Mira suffered harassment from Hitler Youth who broke into the synagogue and blocked the Jews from exiting. The Jewish leadership of the ghettos opened secret schools. "To be caught with a pen or paper meant immediate death, so we taught privately through song and recitation. I was a student and later a teacher, " she said. In 1942 the Germans liquidated their ghetto and talked about work opportunities in the East. "We believed this. Work meant safety and food. We were full of hope...and we had no choice. My mother and I were led out of the ghetto towards the train station. An SS officer ordered me to get out" Mira recounts. She was sent to Belsen in Poland, and later to Auschwitz. She never forgot the last memory of seeing her seventeen-year-old brother at the gates of Auschwitz. Mira Kimmelman survived the death march that left Auschwitz in the bitter winter of 1945. She and other women marched for two days and two nights in temperatures below zero. Mira's journey ended in Bergen-Belsen. Without work, food or water, the women drank their own urine to survive. In mid-April 1945 the camp was liberated by the British army. And Mira built her new life in the United States.
For 20 years after the Holocaust, Mira was unable to speak about what had occurred. Alongside the difficult memories of the Holocaust period that she shares here with the reader, she describes the difficult process of coping with everyday life after the Holocaust, building a new life, the daily struggle with memories of the past: "How can you live a normal life after what you went through? This question was asked of me again and again by those who hear me speaking about the Holocaust... When people look at me they only see the shell, the outward person, they do not see the other me, the one hidden deep inside, this other me still torments itself with survivor's guilt, endless nightmares, many fears, tears flow easily during any emotional event... To this day I am still afraid of cold weather...I still live with two refrigerators and two freezers filled to capacity, I have enough food to last a year...". In the book, Mira shares with the reader the special way she succeeded, despite everything, in building her new life.
XXXIX 355 pages. 21 cm. Very good condition.