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Hiding in a Cave of Trunks: A Prominent Jewish Family's Century in Shanghai and Internment in a WWII POW camp. Paperback – November 13, 2012
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About the Author
Ester Shifren is the descendant of five generations of British Jewish Nationals living in Shanghai for more than one century. She and her family were interned by the Japanese during WW II. After the war her family scattered to the four corners of the earth, many she would never see again. Ester managed, between 1987 and 2004, to tape three interviews of her parents, that yielded 100 transcribed pages of invaluable information for use in her book. She has lectured extensively internationally about her life, the multi ethnic groups and cultures, and the Japanese incarceration of Far Eastern Allies, in Shanghai. Ester lived in Hong Kong for three years before leaving China for Israel in 1951, embarking on a voyage that eventually led to more emigrations—the first in 1957, to South Africa, birthplace of her four children, then to Canada, and finally to Los Angeles, California. She loves the arts and is a professional pianist and visual artist—all of which helped diminish unwelcome memories, and carry her through some extremely difficult life experiences. In 2005 Ester featured in England in the BBC1 program, "We'll Meet Again," and was a guest lecturer for several days at the Imperial war Museum. She has been interviewed extensively and featured in newspapers in South Africa, England, Canada, and in Chinese and English Newspapers in the US.
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The writing is about the same as you find in most of these old memories. Just okay and sometimes very confusing when names that may or may not have been mentioned earlier are brought up as though the reader should have a clue as to who the author is talking about. She needed to re-identify these people by writing; "My father's sister, or my mother's friend, or my mother's cousin".
This is a MUST READ and I rate it easily with 5 stars.
Stan Shear, Ph.D. Vancouver B.C.
A fascinating and absorbing true story - beautifully told - that unfolds in multiple layers of history and personal revelations. A powerful and inspiring tale of courage, strength, hope, faith, love, and renewal. A saga of 5 generations of British Jewish ex-patriots in Shanghai. A startling account of a family's abrupt decline from a life of privilege and wealth to a degrading 3-year internment in a Japanese POW camp and later total financial collapse in Hong Kong during the Korean War. A painful depiction of extreme depravation, torture, and atrocities during WWII. A disclosure of shameful British anti-Semitism and calcified bureaucracy that caused undue hardship. Ms. Shifren's description of the magnificent moment when the camp's inmates celebrate the Allied victory left me tingling all over and moved me to tears of exhilaration. I highly recommend this 5-star book to readers of all religions and cultures.
Saul H. Jacobs
Most recent customer reviews
Ester Shifren, highly gifted author, artist, poet, performer, musician, speaker and more, has...Read more