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Light One Candle: A Survivor's Tale from Lithuania to Jerusalem Paperback – April 18, 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This well-crafted, affecting memoir offers a detailed account of the author's struggle to survive the German occupation of Lithuania amid the terrorizing, torture and liquidation of most of the inhabitants of the Kaunas ghetto during WWII. Ganor describes the diabolical way the Nazis turned gentile Lithuanians against Jews and, inside the ghetto itself, neighbor against neighbor. Remaining useful to the Germans was the only way to survive, and Ganor recounts how the Jewish Council set up vocational classes to teach carpentry and other skills. In the end, Ganor was unable to avoid being sent to Dachau concentration camp, from which he was liberated at the eleventh hour by American troops. In postwar years he became a self-described "emotional amputee" who worked hard to suppress his bitter memories of the war. Yet in 1992, he experienced an almost miraculous second liberation when he met Clarence Matsumuru, a veteran of the Japanese American unit that liberated Dachau?and the very man who rescued Ganor from the brink of extinction on May 2, 1945. This absorbing memoir, with its record of suffering and catharsis, is a valuable addition to Holocaust literature.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

On June 22, 1941, 13-year-old Solly Ganor and his family fled their home in Kaunas, Lithuania, when the German Luftwaffe attacked. Two months later, they were forced to enter the Kaunas ghetto, where they suffered from hunger, backbreaking labor, beatings, disease, cold, fear, and humiliation. Many of the Jews were murdered by the Germans and Lithuanians. In June_ 1944, the author and his father were sent to Dachau, from which they were rescued by Japanese American soldiers on May 2, 1945. The author's sister survived; his mother and brother perished. Forty-seven years later, Ganor was reunited with his rescuer in Israel. Light One Candle is an extraordinary memoir, an incredible story of hope and faith in the face of evil. George Cohen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; 1 edition (April 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568363524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568363523
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.2 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,555,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In LIGHT ONE CANDLE, Solly Ganor takes the reader into that nightmare world of the Holocaust--I could practically feel the harsh elements, the constant danger of the camps. This book isn't anther rote recitation of death counts. There's so much heart and compassion for all those sweptup in these horrors. The insights into camp life include the primal nature of life stripped to itsbasics--such as the "storyteller" who keeps the outside world and traditions alive. Particularly poignant is Cooky, Ganor's childhood friend whose account of the slaughter at the Ninth Fort is more compelling than Dante's own descent into Hell. Ipersonally feel Ganor's book is deserving of some national/international award. Actually, reading the book I wonder how Ganor got it all done. It must have been so painful to revisit these terrible, incomprehensible, sublime, poignant memories. To me it's the best book on the Holocaust, personal or otherwise--certainly it should be a companion to any serious study of this subject. To me it hits at the heart, gets into the soul. It's the humanity of the account,particularly those heart-rending final glimpses of the condemned trying to smile as they wave good-bye.
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Format: Hardcover
I just completed Light One Candle and it sits deeply in my heart. I am now doing consulting work in Lithuania and I wanted to read more about this country. This is the reason I picked up the book. As well, though, I am a baby-boomer and so was born after World War II. All I know of the war is what I have seen in movies, TV or read. But this sad, yet courageous book helped me understand the war as I have never understood it. Little did I know how deeply I would be affected. Solly Ganor is a remarkable man and I have enormous respect for his bravery is such wretched times. In addition, though, this book taught me how much I owe to those thousands of American men and women who gave their lives so that Solly and I could live a normal life. I had never understood this before. Thank you, Solly Ganor, for teaching me so many things.
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Format: Hardcover
This book touched a part of my soul and humanity more than any other book I have read in recent memory. The incredible detail in which Mr. Ganor describes the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Lithuania, and his subsequent confinement in concentration camps is absolutely chilling. I turned each page with horrid fascination with the thought that things couldn't get worse for Mr. Ganor and his family; it always did. Mr. Ganor recounts his story with eloquent but simple prose that draws the reader directly into his world of loss, torture, cruelty, and often times heroic deeds. Even if you consider yourself a fairly good student of history (which I did), this book will most likely destroy any notion that you really "understand" the overwhelming horrors and atrocities committed during this dreadful time in our history. This book is one for the ages, and is proof positive that we should never forget.
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Format: Hardcover
i have read well over two hundred memoirs. This is worth crying over (not that other ones aren't also) and listening to very carefully. without sentimentality - without profession of feelings that may or may not have been felt but remembered...solly ganor brings the reader inside his mind and heart.
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Format: Paperback
Light One Candle: A Survivor's Tale From Lithuania To Jerusalem is the autobiographical story of Solly Ganor, a man who survived the unspeakable holocaust of the Second World War when he was 13 years old through the intervention and rescue of a Japanese American soldier in 1945 (who himself had been releases from a U.S. internment camp for Japanese Americans just a few months earlier. Light One Candle is a powerful and vividly told memoir of struggle, starvation, and the brutal tolls of concentration and extermination camps. Light One Candle is a welcome eye-witness testimony and a very highly recommended addition to personal reading lists as well as academic and community library Holocaust Studies reference collections.
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By A Customer on March 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Solly Ganor's book is simply not to be missed. This is a great narrative from a good man.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book at a Japanese mall in Torrance, California! It was one of the only a handful of english books in the store. That intrigued me so I bought it. What followed was 5 days of me reading this book every spare moment I could. Being Jewish, I have been very fortunate to meet many holocaust survivors but reading this book was something I can't quite explain. It causes you to be very reflective about you life. It is both a traumatic book to read and one that serves as a remarkable testimony. I don't know where the strength to endure came from during those times for the author and his family. The writing is simple and he tells the story so very well. It is also important because it documents a first hand account of the righteous man - Consul Sugihara of Japan who saved 6000 people as well as documents the brave Japanese American regiments in WW2 who fought bravely while relatives at home were put in internment camps. These 2 facts explain why it was in the store I found it - I am grateful for having stumbled upon it. This book has made an indelible mark on my life.
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