Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance

Michael Bart, Author, Laurel Corona, Author . St. Martin’s $25.95 (299p) ISBN 978-0-312-37807-3

Only after Bart’s father died did he learn that his parents, Leizer and Zenia, Lithuanian Holocaust survivors, had also fought in the Resistance. With his mother suffering from Alzheimer’s, Bart cobbles together their story, which he and coauthor Corona, a professor of English and humanities at San Diego City College, relate along with the larger story of the Vilna ghetto. Leizer and Zenia’s romance is unusually poignant against the background of the privations of the ghetto; the old social distinctions between Zenia’s upper-class Lithuanian family and Leizer’s poor Polish origins were brushed aside within the ghetto’s confines. The young couple fled the ghetto in its waning days to fight in a part of the Resistance known as the Avengers. The group is best known for its controversial postwar activities, which the Barts declined to participate in, partly out of concern for Zenia’s health. (The group’s story was told in more detail in Rich Cohen’s Avengers. ) This is a powerful tale of the triumph of love under extremely difficult conditions. 106 b&w photos, 2 maps. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-9404-0
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