Sunday, September 19, 2021

Your father's story is an amazing experience and written in the NOW w/those short sentences, almost breathless, makes it very compelling. 

The first chapter that speaks so clearly of young Sol's personality, boasting of his looks, his smarts, and how he hates what shames him/that old white horse that carries the rags and brushes he must sell, and his father who disdains him as a curse for causing a failed trip to America.

    "I know what I like to do , and I can do it, but I'm not good at taking orders from anyone....I'm too ambitious.." Sol says 

And you read on of his clever escapes from the Germans, his dangerous work with the Partisans, and then siding with the Russians  to gain more control in his life.  And all this as he sees his family and Jewish culture being erased in the most demeaning ways.   You realize he was regularly confronted with life and death experiences that demanded he re-invent himself so, as you say in the title "    THE NAZIS COULD NOT KILL HIM", or the Russians, or the Circus Man or the accidents that almost took him down.  The anger that seethed in him, and drove him  to violence when , at last,he could cut down the fleeing Germans like they did his people, was hard to take but understandable.   He strove to be outstanding in his experiences and spoke of them boastfully as if he was speaking for his family, his people whose chance to excel was taken from them. 

His love affair with Luba, his wife, was as precarious as his military journey, both despair and anger at separation, almost giving up, but then the wonderful  miracle of the chance meeting at a railroad station. By this time  Sol knew she had saved his life with her own brand of toughness, a more tender one. 

The book is a special experience, Lisa.     Is the book from a diary that he kept?  Did he write in the present tense or did you translate and present it as such?  Or did he tell you the story as you spell out on the cover of the book., and you put it in order?   It is very effective.  I am really impressed.

Jeanne Porter


Boni Weinstein
I read the book Saturday and thought it was wonderful. Not only was it so well written but I learned so much. It is the first book about the Holocaust that I could get through without being so sick afterwards. Your parents were incredibly brave people and I so admire their courage and spirit. I brought a copy to my son and urged him to read the book. I need to buy more.
Denise Mathot
I finished your book and it is SO Good!! It is unbelievable what your parents went through and I love the way their story is told.
Ava Young
"Zalman Ber" is a small book that makes a big impact. Written in a voice emerging from one of the most shameful and violent periods in human history, Zalman Ber lingers. I could easily carry this story with me for a lifetime, inspired by it's example of the resiliency of the human spirit. It makes me want to be a better person than I have been."