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A Stone for Benjamin Paperback – October 24, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Iguana Books (October 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1771800070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1771800075
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,860,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most people are aware of the atrocities that faced the Jewish population during Wold War II, but for most of us it's nothing more than someone else's nightmare with no personal connection.

In "A Stone for Benjamin" the author makes it personal as she starts with nothing more than a picture and turns it into a fascinating journey to find out who the man in the picture is, when and why he disappeared from his home in France and how he ended up at Auschwitz.

In this slim volume (under 100 pages), the author takes us with her through genealogical findings and then through visits to Europe, including heartbreaking stops at several concentration camps and other important places in order to satisfy her need to solve the question of Benjamin.

It's rare that an author can make me care about someone I don't know, it's her family after all, not mine, but she somehow managed to make it seem like Benjamin could have been my great-uncle or even yours. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This memoir took me on a journey with the author. I feel a connection to Benjamin and his family. It is an emotional discovery. One which left this reader intensely moved. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually read a lot of non-fiction, but I do enjoy memoirs. I was really impressed with everything about this book, from the plot line to the pictures that the author has shared with the readers. I learned a lot from reading A Stone for Benjamin, but I was also captivated by the author's story. She went to great lengths to discover what happened to Benjamin, something she conveys astoundingly well with her words. This is a very touching story that everyone should read at least once.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This booked moved me more than I can say. I felt like I was at the author's side every step of her journey. She took me to places that I fear I will never have the courage to face on my own. Through Fiona's telling I could feel the pain and humiliation that many of my ancestors were subjected to.

Thanks to Fiona, we can know and remember Benjamin and his family in spite of the Nazi's diabolical plan to strip them of their identities and reduce them to numbers.

I am giving a copy of this book to my son. It is too easy for the younger generations to see these atrocities as just something that happened to people far away, a long time ago. It is important that he understands where he came from and where he could have ended up if it weren't for the timing of his birth.
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Format: Paperback
I am presently away from my family on business and brought Fiona's book to read. A small book, it would be perfect for a trip if it weren't so compelling and well-written. Though I had early starts to wake up for, I found myself reading on till 1 or 2 in the morning. I finished the book in two days, after many moments of wincing, choked tears, chuckles, and waves of great affection and love for both Fiona and Benjamin. You see, Fiona and I share the same Polish Jewish great-parents, on her paternal side. So while Benjamin was not a blood relative of mine, in the spirit of Fiona's father's attitude, he is family nonetheless. This book is therefore personal.

Of course, the gravitas of the extermination of the Jews in the second world war is enormous, but when a relative takes you on such a journey to another relative, who you can never know, and learn the horror that he, his wife, children, brother, and other family members faced, ... well it is quite overwhelming. I so admire Fiona's great courage to do this journey and will be forever grateful she did. As I read, I mourned the family that we should have known today, all the more because our extended family is full of richly textured and quite unconventional characters, who bring great joy and meaning into my life when we meet, which is sadly too infrequently. I also felt what must have been my father's and grandparents' grief who, alive at the time but safe in Scotland, must have been consumed with worry for my grandmothers' Polish relatives left behind after her emigration.

There are many things one could conclude from a book such as A Stone for Benjamin, but for me the most important is that we must work to stay in each others' lives, and keep the connections vibrating. It is the least we can do for those in our family, who would have so relished to have that opportunity.
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Format: Paperback
It is very rare that one picks up a book, reads it from cover to cover in just about two sittings and gets to know both the main character, Benjamin, as well as the author, Fiona Gold Kroll. Ms. Kroll writes passionately about her lost great uncle, yet tenderly in a way that the reader gets to know Fiona as well. I felt as if I would like to sit down with Fiona over a cup of her favorite tea and learn more about her courageous quest for information relating to such a dreadful time in our history. In addition to presenting this story as a gripping documentary, the book serves, or should serve as a wonderful educational manuscript for people of all ages to read and absorb. What happened in Poland and France to the Jews and others who apparently did not "fit" into the fascist regimes of the time needs to be told and retold. The world must never be allowed to sink to such horrible depths again. Ms. Kroll spares us much of the bloody detail, but her prose, full of emotion and so eloquently articulated, express the profound loss of so many. For Benjamin and millions like him, this is a must read!
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