A World Erased

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

In the 1950s, Noah Lederman’s grand­par­ents raised their chil­dren on Holo­caust sto­ries. But because tales of rebel­lion and death camps gave his father and aunt con­stant night­mares in Noah’s ado­les­cence, Grand­ma would only recount the PG ver­sion. Noah craved the uncen­sored truth and always felt one right ques­tion away from their pasts. But when Pop­py died at the end of the mil­len­ni­um it seemed the Holo­caust sto­ries died with him. In the years that fol­lowed, with­out the love of her life by her side Grand­ma could do lit­tle more than mourn. After col­lege Noah, a trav­el writer, roamed the world for fif­teen months with just one rule: avoid Poland. A few mis­steps in Europe, how­ev­er, land­ed him in his grand­par­ents’ coun­try. When he returned home he cau­tious­ly told Grand­ma about his time in War­saw, fear­ing that the past would bring up mem­o­ries too painful for her to relive. But instead remem­ber­ing the Holo­caust unex­pect­ed­ly reju­ve­nat­ed her end­ing five years of mourn­ing her hus­band. Togeth­er they explored the mem­o­ries — of Auschwitz and a half-dozen oth­er camps the War­saw Ghet­to Upris­ing and the dis­placed per­sons camps — that his grand­moth­er had buried for decades. And the woman he had play­ful­ly mocked as a child became his hero. This poignant mem­oir trans­ports read­ers from Noah’s grand­par­ents’ kitchen table in Brook­lyn to World War II Poland.

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