First time author Rebecca Freimann throws her hat into the ring with FAMILY TREE: Rooted in Survival. This is the true story of three branches of a family. It tells of their struggles and herculean efforts to survive the Holocaust. With time slipping slowly into the future, we must realize that there are entire generations who have only read about this horrendous time in our history. Ms. Freimann has taken on the mantle of storyteller to keep her family’s history alive and in so doing keeping us all aware of the horrors suffered by so many. Even today these residual effects of this dark stain on history are with us.
Three families, the Braunhut family, the Mayer family, and the Neustaedter family; all related yet unique in their own special ways. We begin with the story of Gertrude Berkowicz (Braunhut) in 1929 with her words “I passed a couple of men who wore brown shirts….Luckily, as I passed them, both were too deep in conversation to pay any attention to me”. The signs were there early on but so many chose to ignore them until the ultimate price was paid by the Jewish population.
The stories contained in this book are true and have been passed down from one generation to the next. They are unforgettable as are the people who lived through them and died because of them. Theses are stories full of love, fear, despair, faith, and above all hope and determination. Although it is a small book the reader should move slowly through it, getting to know the members of each family and forming a bond with them. You’ll be tempted to turn each page in a hurry but I urge restraint as these lives need more than just a passing glance. Photos of the family members are included and bring life to the book.
The key to this book is the subtitle – Rooted in Survival. For each family does what they must to survive even with heart-wrenching consequences. This reviewer, who lost several family members in Dachau, gives five stars to this must-read narrative of the Holocaust.
Rating: 5 stars
NOTE: Watch upcoming blog posts for a chat with author Rebecca Freimann.