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Light One Candle: A Survivor's Tale from Lithuania to Jerusalem
by Solly Ganor
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Solly Ganor entered the hotel lobby hesitantly. He had spent most of his life trying to block out his painful memories of the war. Yet here he was at a reunion of Holocaust survivors and their American liberators. What was he doing here? His instinct was to turn around and walk right out the door. But he knew why he had come. The man who called him at his home a few nights earlier mentioned that veterans from a battalion of Japanese American soldiers would be gathering at the hotel. Solly immediately recalled his own liberation forty-seven years earlier. He had been lying half buried in the snow near Dachau, more dead than alive, when he looked up to see a kind face with Asian features bending down toward him. The man, Clarence Matsumura, saved Solly's life. Solly walked into the room and immediately recognized his rescuer of a half century ago. His heart started racing. Clarence came forward, and the two embraced. For the first time in almost fifty years, Solly cried. He had finally allowed himself to look backward, to recollect his ghastly experiences of the war, and he cried like a child. Light One Candle is the result of Solly's emotional catharsis of that day. It is the dramatic account of what happened to him immediately before and during the war in Europe. He tells of the horror of the Kaunas ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps that followed, and his nearly fatal death march from Dachau. But he also paints a glorious picture of his native Lithuania in the days before the war, and recounts his boyhood friendship with Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul who wrote thousands of exit visas for Jews fleeing Lithuania.
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