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Waltzing with the Enemy: A Mother and Daughter Confront the Aftermath of the Holocaust Paperback – June 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Mitsios and her mother, Kliot, deliver a dual memoir documenting how past tragedies reverberate through the years to affect children of Holocaust survivors ... In the book's second half, Helen writes about seeking her own identity and learning of her mother's, while struggling to change her mother's fear that being Jewish would make them ''outcasts.'' These mirrored memories provide an intimate portrait, compelling and compassionate. --Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
She adores Raisa, is horrified about all she has endured, admires her strength and wants to help her come clean about being Jewish. This true story makes you realize how the Holocaust affects the children of survivors; how much suffering they also go through and how desperately they want to help their parents. As if mother/daughter relationships weren't complicated enough, this adds a whole new dimension and is a very important read. I highly recommend it.
Helen (the daughter) is dealt a difficult stack of cards as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She writes beautifully about profound subjects that are often too hard to talk about. I felt her angst as I read about her struggle with identity, faith, her marriage to an Episcopalian, being the daughter of immigrants who didn't speak English at home, etc.
Like her mother, she never feels sorry for herself, but writes movingly about stepping out of the shadow of the Holocaust and creating a life for herself.
Rasia's (the mother) story is such an inspiration. It's contemporary and so different from other Holocaust memoirs because she also describes her life today. She writes about her post-World War II years in Vienna when people had to live by their wits to survive hunger and hardship.
She then leaves for Montreal with her husband where they both work as domestics to pay back the Canadian government for their boat ride to Canada. Later they settle down in Phoenix. Even though Rasia remains committed to Judaism, she raises Helen as a Catholic because the fear of anti-Semitism has never left her.
I can't recommend this book highly enough, not just for mothers and daughters, but for fathers and sons, historians, psychologists -- anyone who has suffered a hardship they thought they couldn't overcome. This rare memoir has a lot to offer on how to get through the very worst times and get on with your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Waltzing with the Enemy is really two books in one. The first part is the story of Rasia Kliot, who was born in Vilnius, Lithuania and survived the Holocaust on a false indentity. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by dep
I read this book over three periods of time and could not put it down each time although I had to go to sleep. Read morePublished on December 19, 2011 by Alexandra
I am Israeli and the holocaust is something that we learn about from a very early age.
I read a lot of books about the holocaust and heard a lot of stories. Read more
I have read many books about the Holocaust, but this memoir presents a unique opportunity to delve into the painful phenomena of inter-generational grief. Read morePublished on July 17, 2011 by H. Settembrini
I was given an advanced reading copy to review and sat down to read. This was not one of these books that you simply read through in one sitting. Read morePublished on July 3, 2011 by Maria Gagliano
In this important statement about the Holocaust & its aftermath the reader gets a unique and artfully rendered picture of a tragedy beyond comprehension and how it reverberates... Read morePublished on June 12, 2011 by doverBoy