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Gypsy Tears: Loving a Holocaust Survivor Hardcover – June 1, 2007
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Cora Schwartz has written a provocative novel of unforgettable faces and locales that will deeply move even the most diehard cynic. She lures her compelling characters to crawl under the reader's skin and settle in for a long winter's nap. I will be remembering Rudy for a long time to come. --Linda Bergman, Bergman Entertainment
Do read it. It will be a powerful experience and at the same time a great treat! Maurice Friedman, Author of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Elie Wiesel: You Are My Witnesses --Maurice Friedman, Author of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Elie Wiesel: You Are My Witnesses
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In this book the Holocaust lies in the background. It has everything to do with Rudy, one of the main characters. There is some question as to whether Rudy was a Gypsy or Jewish; both groups were horribly persecuted by the Nazis. The author, Cora Schwartz, was Rudy's lover and, finally, wife. She is also the mother of his child.
With Rudy's story, Ms. Schwartz describes poignantly the suffering caused by survivor's guilt. Rudy lost most of his family in the camps, despite having escaped with his mother for a short period. Cora loved Rudy with a pure and unqualified love yet could not help him to forget. The book follows the couple several times back to the Ukraine and Rudy's original home. The period is the seventies and the Ukraine wants independence from the U.S.S.R. There are severe privations and, after Rudy's death, Cora has continued to bring aid to the Holocaust survivors in the Ukraine. Ms. Schwartz has another book, The Forgotten Few, which has proven so poignant in portraying the plight of these people that it is used as a teaching aid in some schools.
This story, while true, ventures into myth at times. There are a lot of coincidences which Gypsies accept nonchalantly as does Cora's interpreter. It is a bit difficult at times to separate fact from fantasy, or at least it appears that way. It is ultimately a beautiful story. Ms. Schwartz is working on a sequel.
As for the book itself, as an artifact, I have rarely seen such a lovely product. Hobblebush is an independent publisher and they have done a superb job with the paper, the cover, the cover pages, etc. It is reminiscent of books published in Europe where they take their publishing seriously and books are to be cherished, not just read.