Title: Courage and Grace
Author: Yoseph Komem
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Rating: 4 out of 5 fairies
Where to buy: Amazon
Synopsis: A family’s unbelievable survival in the face of the Holocaust
Yoseph and Itzhak Komem are two young Jewish brothers hiding under fake Catholic identities on the Aryan side of Polish towns and countryside during the Holocaust. Their fascinating testimonies are brought together with those of their deaf father, their mother, and others, to convey their life stories and their unbelievable escape from the Nazis.
You’ll read this amazing literary, historical, and biographical document with bated breath
The novel weaves an unbelievable mix of everyday and nightmarish reality, between the ghetto and outside of it, colorfully portraying the struggle to survive on the rear lines of a war between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army. The memories conclude with the period of life after liberation: in the Polish People’s Republic, in an orphanage in France, in a boarding school in England, and in the Land of Israel.
A drama of tragedy and rescue, dare, courage, and grace
Courage and Grace offers a unique memoir of the Second World War, written in the form of a polyphony— a chorus of voices that reverberate with each other, highlighting their differences in experience and points of view. The author recreates a gripping and suspenseful mosaic of daring escapes, concealments, and acts of valor, portraying the struggle for survival in the face of a living nightmare.
About the Author: Yoseph Komem is the descendant of a Jewish family of lace curtain manufacturers from the ancient town of Kalish, Poland. He, his brother, and their parents survived in the Nazi ruled "Generalgouvernement" during the years 1939-1945. He lived for several months in the survivors' orphanage in Bellevue, France, before immigrating to British Mandate Palestine (5.6.1947). Yoseph finished orthodox and secular schools in Tel Aviv and served in the Israeli Army on active duty. He has an MSc from the Technion in mechanical and control engineering. Komem was employed as designer and in research and development at Israel Aerospace Industries and also as designer of the first Israeli satellites. After retirement he acted as a consulting engineer in the fields of air quality control, and Intelligent technologies for control and data analysis. He currently leads the Association of Former Residents and Descendants of Kalish and Vicinity. Yoseph is married to Azriela, and they have children and grandchildren. Yoseph Komem has experienced the most significant events of Jewish history in the twentieth century, and those are reflected in Courage and Grace.
Review: It always feels strange rating and reviewing the story of someone's life. Who am I to say that what the author has conveyed is accurate to their experience? So I'm left with not rating the tale itself, but the way in which it is conveyed to the reader. A tale of survival at all costs, Courage and Grace tells the tale of the second world war mainly through the eyes of a young boy who lived through it. The terror, the losses, and the sometimes innocent eyes of the child.
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