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Motherland by Rita Goldberg


by Rita Goldberg

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Recently added bycctesttc1, Karen59, MHStevens, Charvet



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As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I have been waiting for a book like this.

But while my own story differs in so many ways from that of the typical 2nd Generation ("2G") member, I wanted to know more about the effects of being raised by a parent who had undergone such horrible trauma. Especially since my father (who committed identity theft as a refugee in England, enlisted in the RAF and flew 22 bombing missions against his own country before being shot down and spending almost 4 years as a POW, without any protection whatsoever under the Geneva Convention) never told his own family that he was born Jewish and that his own family had been decimated by the Holocaust.

That the author's mother lived such a fascinating and courageous life is what gives this work meaning. That the subject's parents and other close family members were murdered, while she and her brother chose to fight the Nazis with the Underground is laudable and worthy of all the attention this story gets. The close calls and near-misses, culminating in the post-war humanitarian work with other survivors and, later, fighting for freedom in Israel, give this book both meaning and excitement.

But what really makes this story of interest is the writing. Ms. Goldberg brings the story to life with such vibrancy and colour that the story flows and unfolds effortlessly. Reading this book becomes more of a pleasure with every page that is turned.

My only regret is that she does not give more detail on how her mother's wartime exploits, and her parents' later efforts in Israel, have affected her own character. What does it mean to grow up in a household that lives every day with such sadness? Ms. Goldberg describes her mother as happy and funny, and yet one senses that there must be more to the story.

Perhaps in another book? Please… ( )
  MHStevens | Aug 27, 2014 |
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The author writes: "I am the child of a woman who survived the Holocaust not by the skin of her teeth but heroically ...This book tells the story of her dramatic life before, during and after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in 1940." Hilde Jacobsthal was born in Berlin and arrived in the Netherlands as a young child. She was fifteen when the Nazis invaded, and when Jewish students were forbidden to attend Dutch schools, she trained and worked as a day care nurse.… (more)

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