You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Loving, Fighting, and Swearing in Yiddish

Susan Kushner Resnick, Author
Susan Kushner Resnick. Globe Pequot/Skirt!, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7627-8038-9
Paperback - 229 pages - 978-0-7627-8819-4
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-7627-9013-5
Open Ebook - 245 pages - 978-1-322-11392-0
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In well-executed, second-person prose, Resnick speaks directly to the elderly Aron Lieb—a virtually family-less Holocaust survivor whom she befriends—as he lies on his deathbed in a nursing home. Short vignettes skip back and forth through time, covering the history of their relationship: Resnick’s struggle with Jewish identity (“I figured as long as I stayed ambivalent about being Jewish, I might not get killed by the Nazis the next time they came”) and Aron’s own history before, during, and after the war. The writing is sentimental and emotional (culminating in “Who saved whom?”) as much as it is honest and informative; in telling Aron’s story, Resnick unapologetically criticizes both the incompetence of elder-care facilities as well as the failure of Jewish communal organizations to help a person who, after a life of hardship, deserves a break. This painful memoir is not easy to read: Resnick displays her artistic skill as she attempts to make sense of Aron’s life in light of her own (“I own the book of your life, but I can’t read it”). The telling of Aron’s story, a true labor of love, is a reminder of both the individuality of each survivor and the reality that their generation is dying and must be remembered. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Nov.)
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