Two Roads Home
Thursday November 09th 2023, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Friends,History

A surprisingly few years ago for all that has happened since, my friend Nina was telling me of her efforts to help her mom close out her house to get it on the market. It had taken so. much. work.

In the far back of where some old stuff had been stored for many decades, she came across a box she had not known about.

Inside were old handwritten letters. A lot of them. But they were in Polish so there was no way to know what was in them. (Possibly others in German, too; I did not know when she was telling me about them after her trip to her childhood home that I was someday going to want to ask.)

She’d lost so much family in the Holocaust and there was so much she had wanted to know of who they had been–and how the ones who had survived had done so. She was suddenly so close yet so far.

And then one day it hit her hard: of course she knew someone who could translate those! That lady at the pool was Polish!

Tonight, flipping from page 69 suddenly to the Acknowledgements at the back of the book, the lady at the pool has a name to me.

Nina connected with cousins all over the world and one is a journalist in Britain and those letters became the backbone of his new book, and if you’ve heard of “Two Roads Home: Hitler, Stalin, and the miraculous survival of my family” by Daniel Finkelstein that made the front page of the Washington Post, well, my one little hanger-on claim to fame is that the first lace shawl in my book in 2007 was designed and named for the author’s cousin who found those long-lost letters.

So if you are reading this you are three steps removed from Mr. Finkelstein yourself.

Their grandfather pleaded the Jews’ cause in a meeting with Goring himself, while he still thought that might make any difference. Wow.

3 Comments so far
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Wow! Now I know what my next book will be … thanks for the heads up.

Comment by Anne 11.10.23 @ 12:09 am

I’m looking for that book.

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 11.10.23 @ 7:18 am

Fascinating. I’ve added the book to my list.

Comment by DebbieR 11.10.23 @ 8:09 am

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