Description : “A layered, sweeping panorama of 20th Century Jewish life and identity” (Publishers Weekly). Yoram Kaniuk has been hailed as “one of the most innovative, brilliant novelists in the Western World,” and The Last Jew is his exhilarating masterwork (The New York Times). Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Last Jew is a sweeping saga that captures the troubled history and culture of an entire people through the prism of one family. From the chilling opening scene of a soldier returning home in a fog of battle trauma, the novel moves backward through time and across continents until Kaniuk has succeeded in bringing to life the twentieth century’s most unsettling legacy: the anxieties of modern Europe, which begat the Holocaust, and in turn the birth of Israel and the swirling cauldron that is the Middle East. With the unforgettable character of Ebenezer Schneerson—the eponymous last Jew—at its center, Kaniuk weaves an ingenious tapestry of Jewish identity that is alternately tragic, absurd, enigmatic, and heartbreaking. “A true work of art, free from emotional manipulations.” —The Washington Post
Description : In 1492 Spain is held in firm grip by the inquisition. Per decree an announcement is made that all Jews have to leave the country. A large exodus starts. 15-year-old Yonah is left on his own after his brother and father are killed. Instead of converting to Christianity or fleeing he decides to stand firm by his faith and to fight for himself. Three years later Yonah is keen to settle somewhere. In Granada he finally meets people of his own faith again - the family of the silk merchant Saadi, who still practice Judaism in secrecy. Yonah's love for Ines, the young daughter of the family, however remains unfulfilled. Yonah moves on to Gibraltar where he starts an apprenticeship with Fierro, an armourer. Fierro has to flee from the inquisition himself and asks his young apprentice to accompany him on his journey to the North and when he finally arrives in Saragossa meeting Nuno seals his fate. Yonah immediately senses that medicine is his true calling...
Description : For two thousand years, a small colony of Jews in Cochin, South India, enjoyed security and prosperity, fully accepted by their Hindu, Muslim, and Christian neighbors. In this most exotic corner of the Diaspora, Jews flourished in the spice trade, agriculture, the professions, government, and military service. India's tolerant, nurturing atmosphere produced a Jewish prime minister to a Hindu maharaja; an autonomous Jewish principality; Hebrew and Malayalam-language poets; powerful, well-educated women; and Qabbalists revered by Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. Cochin's Jews were so well-integrated into Hindu society that they evolved an identity which was both fully Indian and fully Jewish. This book analyzes the strategies by which this dual identity was established. The Cochin Jews have narrated a historical legend which emphasizes their longstanding residence in India, the site of Jewish autonomy under Hindu patronage, and their attestable origin in ancient Israel, the center of the Jewish universe. Although the Cochin Jews remained faithful to Jewish law and custom, Hindu symbols of nobility and purity were adopted into their religious observances, resulting in some of the most exotic religious practices in the Jewish world. The Jews of Cochin mirrored Hindu social structure and became a caste, well-positioned in India's hierarchy. Yet in emulating caste behavior, Jews came to discriminate against one another, in a breach of Jewish law, giving rise to a controversy which lasted five hundred years. Despite millennia of security, when their two beloved homelands, India and Israel, attained independence in the late 1940s, virtually all of the Jews living in Cochin opted for the more precarious life in Israel. This book concludes with an exploration of their reasons for leaving India and an appraisal of their adaptation to Israeli life.
Description : New York Times Bestseller: The true story of twelve Jews who went underground in Nazi Berlin—and survived: “Consummately suspenseful” (Los Angeles Times). When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, approximately one hundred sixty thousand Jews called Berlin home. By 1943 less than five thousand remained in the nation’s capital, the epicenter of Nazism, and by the end of the war, that number had dwindled to one thousand. All the others had died in air raids, starved to death, committed suicide, or been shipped off to the death camps. In this captivating and harrowing book, Leonard Gross details the real-life stories of a dozen Jewish men and women who spent the final twenty-seven months of World War II underground, hiding in plain sight, defying both the Gestapo and, even worse, Jewish “catchers” ready to report them to the Nazis in order to avoid the gas chambers themselves. A teenage orphan, a black-market jewel trader, a stylish young designer, and a progressive intellectual were among the few who managed to survive. Through their own resourcefulness, bravery, and at times, sheer luck, these Jews managed to evade the tragic fates of so many others. Gross has woven these true stories of perseverance into a heartbreaking, suspenseful, and moving account with the narrative force of a thriller. Compiled from extensive interviews, The Last Jews in Berlin reveals these individuals’ astounding determination, against all odds, to live each day knowing it could be their last.
Description : This book reads like a novel, but the riveting story it tells is true. Journey with Ernest and Elisabeth from the horror of the Holocaust to salvation in Jesus the Messiah. Not only is this a powerful testimony of how God sustained several Jewish families during the worst nightmare of our time, it is also a tender love story. You won't be able to put it down!
Description : Could this be the end of the oldest Judeo/Christian religion? In The Last Jew? the world is in turmoil and powerful forces are moving against each other. As civilization begins crumbling and the entire planet trembles, the United States military and their allies must move to save the planet from itselfa "again The Last Jew could very well be the darkest story of hope you may ever read "
Description : In the year 1492, the Inquisition has all of Spain in its grip. After centuries of pogrom-like riots encouraged by the Church, the Jews - who have been an important part of Spanish life since the days of the Romans - are expelled from the country by royal edict. Many who wish to remain are intimidated by Church and Crown and become Catholics, but several hundred thousand choose to retain their religion and depart; given little time to flee, some perish even before they can escape from Spain. Yonah Toledano, the 15-year-old son of a celebrated Spanish silversmith, has seen his father and brother die during these terrible days - victims whose murders go almost unnoticed in a time of mass upheaval. Trapped in Spain by circumstances, he is determined to honor the memory of his family by remaining a Jew. On a donkey named Moise, Yonah begins a meandering journey, a young fugitive zigzagging across the vastness of Spain. Toiling at manual labor, he desperately tries to cling to his memories of a vanished culture. As a lonely shepherd on a mountaintop he hurls snatches of almost forgotten Hebrew at the stars, as an apprentice armorer he learns to fight like a Christian knight. Finally, as a man living in a time and land where danger from the Inquisition is everywhere, he deals with the questions that mark his past. How he discovers the answers, how he finds his way to a singular and strong Marrano woman, how he achieves a life with the outer persona of a respected Old Christian physician and the inner life of a secret Jew, is the fabric of this novel. The Last Jew is a glimpse of the past, an authentic tale of high adventure, and a tender and unforgettable love story. In it, Noah Gordon utilizes his greatest strengths, and the result is remarkable and moving.
Description : One of the few survivors of the Nazi death camp Treblinka during World War II, the author tells a riveting story of how he survived by becoming one of the workers whose grim task it was to tend to the dead and went on to take part in the Treblinka workers' revolt and later testified at a war-crime tribunal.
Description : Iraq’s Last Jews is a collection of first-person accounts of Iraqi Jews about their lives in Iraq’s once-vibrant, 2,500 year-old Jewish community. It is also about the escape and rebirth of that community in the middle of the 20th century in the face of oppression and violence resulting originally from Nazi influences in Iraq, growing Arab nationalism, and eventually Arab anger at the creation of the state of Israel.
Description : It's 1939 and Hitler just invaded Poland. Henry is 13 years old, and unbeknownst to him or his family, his life is about to change forever. Soon he is torn from his siblings and parents and finds himself packed into a covered truck with dozens of desperate strangers. He doesn't have any idea where he's going or when he'll be let out, if ever. Henry is now struggling for his life in one of the most diabolical and murderous events in human history--the Nazi plan to exterminate every last Jew in Europe. Travel with him to a munitions factory in his home town of Radom, where he is forced to labor twelve hours a day with barely enough rations to keep him alive. Discover how he manages to obtain extra food through ingenuity and a willingness to risk his life. Would we have the courage to do the same? Follow Henry to an airstrip in Unterriexingen where he is put to work in the freezing cold with barely any clothes and no shoes to protect him from the elements. Learn how, during an Allied air strike, he escapes to a nearby farmhouse where he pleads with the owner to take him in after he's caught eating with the swine. Feel what it's like to hold a Luger for the first time while Henry struggles with the idea of killing the Nazi officer who allows him to clean his pistol and shine his boots when he is not forced to work building what would someday become his own prison. Would you pull the trigger? Walk with Henry on a 'death march' through the streets of Germany with no end in sight, having to endure the taunts of passersby who yell nasty epithets and throw stones at him while he reaches for a discarded apple core and is stabbed in the back by a Nazi soldier's bayonet. How many of us would have the strength to continue in such circumstances? Journey 600 feet below the earth to the salt mines in Kochendorf where Henry is forced to slave all day in unbearable conditions while building Nazi storage facilities for art stolen from Jews throughout Europe. Experience the horror of a massacre that forces Henry to take quick action that leaves him crawling for his life through the snow-filled forests of the Swiss Alps to emerge as one of a handful of survivors. Never take another day for granted after hearing this harrowing tale of courage and survival that leads Henry to freedom after being liberated by Black American GI's who are themselves fighting racism and inequality in a segregated U.S. military. Gain insights as to why the Nazis, and Hitler in particular, hated the Jews, making them the enemy of society and labeling them untermenschen--subhuman. This true-to-life story shines as a beacon of hope and perseverance and serves as a backdrop-narrative to remind us that racism and hate can lead to murderous behavior and the rapid destruction of civil society. Every Last Jew is a beautifully written memoir by Henry's son Mark Koperweis that will take you on a journey that is up-close, personal, and in full living horror. When you emerge, you will never again see the world or your life in the same way. It will change you, as it did Henry, forever.