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Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust Paperback – 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
This chaste Holocaust memoir perfectly illustrates how a great and moving story can fail to be a great and moving book. Television producer Korenblit and Janger, the director of a national writing competition, use conventional terms to relate an extraordinary story. In 1942, Korenblit's parents, Manya and Meyer, were teenagers in love in Hrubieszow, Poland. But they were also Jewish and soon found themselves torn from their families and each other as they were shifted from camp to camp. Before they were separated, though, the two promised to meet in their hometown at the end of the war, which they did--two of the fewer than 200 surviving members of the 8000-strong Jewish community that had lived in Hrubieszow before the war. The writing here just is not as powerful as the facts, however. One strategic choice depletes much of the suspense: Korenblit reveals in an introduction that while researching the book, he discovered one of his mother's brothers living in England. It's a fantastic detail, initially well told, but by the end, when it is repeated, it sounds pedestrian. Other techniques lessen dramatic effect. For example: while in the camps, Manya kept an ersatz diary, jotting down daily events in terse lists such as ``Cyvia, joy, horrible condition, no hair, Cyvia better, new friend, replaced shoe, washed dress, farmwork'' which she rolled into tight cylinders and concealed in her hair. Rather than relying on the lucidity of those original notes, Korenblit and Janger imagine what Manya would have written had she had the paper and the time.
Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
When two Polish Jews, Meyer and Manya, both 17, and their families decide to go into hiding from the Nazis, there troubles are just beginning. Manya and her 14-year-old brother, Chaim, decide to leave her family's dangerous hideout and go with her boyfriend, Meyer. Together, they go through various hiding places and worsening concentration camps all over Europe. Trying to survive day by day, they often wonder if they will ever be free again. Meyer and Manya survive, however, with their great faith and love for each other - but how? Will they ever see their families again? Can they ever be happy... and free?
This was a great, inspirational story, written by the couple's son. It can be read and enjoyed by a large age group, anywhere from middle schoolers, teens, and adults. It really helped me to see the true horror of the war, and I would highly recommend it!
Author, Michael Korenblit, is Manya and Meyer's son. His friend is Kathleen Janger and together they helped Manya and Meyer to release the horrors of their past, to share with the world. During the composition of this novel, Michael and Kathleen come across the name of Manya's brother Chaim in a directory of England. The reunion of Chaim and Manya and Meyer was rejoiced, because for about thirty years they each thought the other was dead.
Michael and Kathleen's writing style is quick and to the point. They are telling the story, not to explain to the reader what the Holocaust was, but to tell Manya and Meyer's story. This makes it more intriguing than a textbook version of the Holocaust, "Hitler gained power in Germany as an absolute ruler...the Nazi's killed over six million Jews..." The authors, although tell a story, aren't very descriptive, which is probably due to the fact that they are telling the story second hand.
In my opinion, this is one of the best stories I've ever read. I have heard stories of members from my synagogue, I've seen videos, and I've seen plays about the Holocaust, but by far, this is one of the stories that I've been most interested in. I would not call myself a good reader, I'm far from it, I rarely read outside of school, but this story was entrancing, I had to continue reading and I would not put it down. One of the main reasons why I enjoyed this story so much was because it was a love story as well as a survival story. These two people went through almost every type of Holocaust story I've ever heard of. They went into hiding when people were being deported, they worked in the ghetto, they were deported, they went to work camps as well as death camps, and managed to survive all of it. That concept was incredible. They sacrificed so much, their choices were so concrete, if there was a mistake there was no going back. I agree with Michael Korenblit that the people who survived the Holocaust and were able to continue living, they are the true heroes, the people I want to look up to. I don't see how someone who went through all they went through and survived it would be able to move on. That is why this is such an incredible story. The book "Until We Meet Again" by Michael Korenblit and Kathleen Janger is by far one of the best stories of love and survival ever written.