No Time for Patience: My Road from Kovno to Jerusalem

Zev Birger, Author, Shimon Peres, Foreword by Newmarket Press $18.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-55704-386-3
For over 50 years, Birger, director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair, refused to share his Holocaust experience with anyone, including his three sons. Breaking a half-century of silence, he writes from the heart in a memoir that is all the more moving for its restrained style. With the German invasion of Lithuania in 1941, Birger and his older brother, Mordechai, were forcibly resettled in the Kovno ghetto. Still in his early teens, he founded an underground Zionist movement, which abetted guerrilla groups fighting the Nazis, saved and circulated Hebrew books and built underground bunkers where Jewish families could hide. In 1944, when the Nazis obliterated the Kovno ghetto, Birger, his brother and their father were captured and transported to Dachau; Birger's mother was sent to a different camp, and he never saw her again. His father perished in Dachau; Mordechai was transferred to another camp, escaped and was eventually caught and executed. By the time Birger was liberated by American soldiers in 1945, he was a typhus-stricken living skeleton. While serving as a translator in an American army unit, he joined a Jewish underground movement that helped displaced Jewish refugees emigrate illegally to British Palestine. He gives a stirring account of how, armed with false passports, he and his young bride, Trudi, sailed from Marseilles to Haifa, cramped on a converted yacht. Written with understated eloquence, his engrossing survivor's account is a story of remarkable courage told with great modesty. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Book - 160 pages - 978-1-55704-923-0
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