When I told Prof. Wiesel about my mother, he said, “Your mother must write her story. Future generations must know.”

It was a great risk to her sanity and health to reenter her unbearable past, but for the sake of the truth my mother wrote. She bravely brought her family and her Jewish life from Before the War Back to Life. And on the day she died and for the next six years I entered my mother’s world, and I confronted the ghosts of my childhood. Wiesel’s advice to me, “do not be afraid of the journey ahead.”
Prof. Wiesel was the catalyst, my mother conveyed strength and perseverance, and left me with a living document, giving a voice to those whose voices were silenced.

A rich, living document, a thirty-year account that reveals the life of a young woman with hopes and dreams for a better world who lived to bear witness to unspeakable suffering and all that she saw, felt, and thought.  It is a story of sacrifice, determination, loyalty, and love.  She pays tribute to our history and legacy, the Jewish culture of Eastern Europe that was forever decimated by Nazism, Hitler and their enthusiastic supporters.

I presented “Crossing Paths with Elie Wiesel” on the stage in Santa Monica, CA as part of storytelling, sharing true stories about Influential People in our lives. June12, 2016.

Photographs are used as a way to remember and connect. But Not One Photograph existed that connected my mother to her family. She mourned and brought them back to life daily. She painted pictures of her loved once, with words.

It was during my time, at City College of NY, in Prof. Elie Wiesel’s classes, that I connected the dots, of how the Holocaust effected my mother and me. I see him clearly, slender and frail but determined, full of great urgency. The horrors he lived through were visible on his face. He was 15 when he with his family were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Romania. He was liberated at Buchenwald.

Wiesel’s horrors, triggered in me my childhood memories, of growing up with the ghosts of my mother’s murdered family.  Freud called it “shadow memories,” acquired traumas. Trying to atone what can neither be undone nor ever understood, much less resolved. My childhood in Poland now made sense. I understood that in losing her entire family my mother could not escape her past. By engraving her stories into my memory she pledged me, as the “memorial candle” the link between the past and the future, I was their voice.

I had no way of knowing, but the seed for writing “Memory is Our Home” was planted in my childhood. Looking back in time, I know now that my entire life was a preparation, to be “a memorial candle”. I assumed the burden of my parents’ emotional world and I became the link between the past and the future. This history is embedded deep in my memory, my soul, it is part of my DNA. 

Crossing Paths with Elie Wiesel, The importance of Holocaust survivors’ stories.


“Memory is Our Home” was published by ibidem- Verlag, an academic press, in April of 2015, the second edition in2020. Distributed by Columbia Press.

Buy here: Memory is Our Home

Polish version, May 2016. “Memory is Our Home” was published in 2015 and in Warsaw, Poland, May 2016 “Pamięc jest naszym domem”


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