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Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila Paperback – April 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Jeannette Katzir; First edition (April 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615274838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615274836
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,312,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Broken Birds," Jeannette Katzir's vibrant family history poignantly captures the hurt and yearning that so often marks the bond between brothers and sisters whose parents were "broken" by war. We are drawn into the drama of the five Poltzers as they struggle to find the glue to keep the family conncected despite powerful forces that rip them apart. If you have a brother or sister, you'll nod knowingly as you recognize yourself in Katzir's true and compelling picture of the complex web of sibling relationships. --Vikky Stark, M.S.W., Author of My Sister - Myself

Jeannette Katzir's memoir describes, as few works have, the enduring legacy of the Holocaust to those who survived and those whom they brought into the world, raised and reared. In the last decades, we overly optimistic Americans have preferred a narrative of triumph, of survivors overcoming the evil, enduring and making a compensating contribution that made us marvel; thus, showing us that any evil can be overcome, that suffering leaves no lasting impact. Would that were so.<P>Katzir faithfully retellls the story of her parents during the Shoah and then of life in Los Angeles when it was beginning to grow and blossom in the 1950s and 60s. But she traverses the dynamics of a family that was both drawn together by the residue of suffering and ultimately split apart. The book is alternately brave and bold, depressing, saddening and enraging but always engaging. --Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implicaitons of the Holocaust<P>Professor of Jewish Studies<P>American Jewish University

Jeannette Katzir's memoir describes, as few works have, the enduring legacy of the Holocaust to those who survived and those whom they brought into the world, raised and reared. In the last decades, we overly optimistic Americans have preferred a narrative of triumph, of survivors overcoming the evil, enduring and making a compensating contribution that made us marvel; thus, showing us that any evil can be overcome, that suffering leaves no lasting impact. Would that were so.<P>Katzir faithfully retellls the story of her parents during the Shoah and then of life in Los Angeles when it was beginning to grow and blossom in the 1950s and 60s. But she traverses the dynamics of a family that was both drawn together by the residue of suffering and ultimately split apart. The book is alternately brave and bold, depressing, saddening and enraging but always engaging. --Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implicaitons of the Holocaust<P>Professor of Jewish Studies<P>American Jewish University

About the Author

Jeannette Katzir's work is an analysis of human nature and the notion of "family" through the revelation of personal histories, secrets and in-depth research. She is fascinated with the great outdoors and humans' role as partners to it and to themselves. She is an avid nature photographer and dedicated equestrian. Jeannette has resided in the Los Angeles area since 1960.

More About the Author

I was born in New York to two Holocaust survivors, but moved to the west coast before I was seven, so I consider myself half New Yorker and half Californian. I have enjoyed writing ever since I could remember, but didn't really dabble in the art of pen to paper, or computer keyboarding, until a few years ago. Now I find myself reading and writing all the time.

I've been married for practically my entire life and started having children five minutes after that. Now I can proudly say I'm a youngish grandma-ma, (A term I stole from Endora of the 60's show, Bewitched), and have two fabulous grandchildren. (I'm sorry, but I'm prejudice).

My first book, Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila, received rave reviews from The Huffington Post, Head Butler, BestSellersworld.com, The Internet Review of Books, Compulsive Reader and more. I've had articles published in The San Diego Jewish World, Ezine and TNBBC.

Currently I call myself a Californian, living in the Valley with my husband of thirty plus years.

I'm putting the finishing touches on my second book, am working on a children series with a my writing partner and have written the first 100 pages of a woman's murder mystery.

In short, I'm destined to be everywhere.

Customer Reviews

Jeannette Katzir is a natural storyteller, and the story flows well.
Suko
I definitely recommend this book to people with an interest in either the Holocaust or anyone would likes a good story about family problems. =)
Simpson Freelance Writing (Consignment)
I hope that others will learn whatever lessons they can from the pain that this family suffered through.
W. H. McDonald Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila"
Jeannette Katzir
ISBN:9780615274836 ISBN: 0615274838

I received "Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila" when I entered a contest at [...]. I did not win, but I had marked that I wanted to read, and Ms. Katzir, contacted me asking if I was still interested in the book, I replied yes, and I ordered the book from Jeannette Katzir.

"Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila" is based on true events that shaped Channa Perschowski,a young Jewish girl from Poland,and with her brother Isaac as they ran from the Nazi's during WW11 and Nathan Poltzer, that she would meet and marry when he came to America after being freed from the Holocaust nightmare. This is Channa and Natham Poltzer's journey, and the start of the five Poltzer children lives in America. The events that are the consequences of lessons learned at their Momila knee, and the shaping of each of the Poltzer children's lives.

Channa teaches her five children to cling to each other, while teaching them to be suspicious of the outside world. When Channa dies years later, it rocks the bedrock foundation of the Poltzer children. The contents of her will, which forces her children to face years of suppressed indignation. The greatest war will not be with the outside world, but one another.

And years later Nathan, Shlomo, Jacyln, and Steven will journey back to his hometown of Uzhgorod. Walk with Nathan and his children as he comes full circle at where it all began for him. Learn about the Holocaust through his memories, and his anger at the cover-up of the events of the Holocaust. Walk with him during his final journey, a journey that only he could make, with the help of his children.

As I read this book, I discovered that we are all Broken Birds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Libby Cone on July 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This book has been getting a lot of attention online, so I was eager to read it. It is the story of a dysfunctional family, the sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors. Although it purports to be the story of the matriarch, information about her is relatively sparse and leaves the reader with many questions. The mother, Channa, and her brother, Isaac, grew up in a small town in Poland. When the German army took over, they suffered the depredations visited upon the resident Jews and soon wound up in a ghetto. When Channa was twelve, shortly after the death of their aunt and Isaac's wife and children in a pogrom, Isaac took Channa with him into the forest, where they joined the partisans, remaining with them until the end of the war. They snipped telephone and telegraph lines, blew up bridges, killed solitary German soldiers, lived off the land and off food they demanded from farmers. When the Red Army liberated Poland two years later, they returned to their hometown to find the rest of their family had perished and their home was occupied by strangers, who reluctantly let them move in and then relinquished the house. That is the first ten percent of the book. The reader is then treated to a rather rushed narrative of Katzir's father, who grew up in a town in Czechoslovakia that later became part of Hungary. Only a few pages are devoted to the difficult years of 1939-1944; then he and his family were deported to Auschwitz. Nathan managed to survive the selections for the gas chambers, and wound up later on a hellish work detail cleaning up the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto (which she calls "only a shell of its former self"). As the Allies drew closer, he was deported to the German camp, Dachau.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Just saying on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I work in Jewish social services and it is well known that Holocaust survivors and their second and even third generations struggle with many psychological issues, and their families are frequently described as "dysfunctional." Much of this book would confirm and explain these observations, based on the author's family's tortured history. However, two of the biggest stinkers in the family are in-laws who did not decend from Holocaust survivors. How to explain their behaviors? So much of the pain in the latter years of this family history was ridiculously self-inflicted, and not necessarily because of the Holocaust--just stupid pride. In fact, by the time I got to the part about the settlement on the $300 bill, I laughed out loud at the folly. And secondly, I thought of my own family--WASPs decended from very early colonists of America. There are plenty of the same dysfunctions in our family owing to my parents' experience of poverty and family violence growing up in the Depression. I think my family would have been even worse if we had tried to go into business ventures together, like the Poltzer family did. All in all, Katzir wrote an interesting story that held my attention, but it doesn't make a strong case for causality between the parents' Holocaust experiences and the subsequent family difficulties.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jeannette Katzir wrote the story of her Momila, her mother, who survived the Holocaust and went on to raise a family in the US. As is often the case, sibling rivalry has the fans flamed by the desires of a mother to support the weakest bird in the nest. Jeannette's will causes a family war that splits the family apart in ways that are instructive.

This is a great memoir about a post-WWII immigrant Jewish family, but it's also a very good memoir about family dynamics and issues that span across generations and are as relevant today as sixty years ago. After you read this, you may re-evaluate your relationship with your parents and siblings, and you probably will be thinking about your own family. Hard to read because of the pain and difficulties each person causes each other, but really instructive, too. A very insightful book.
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