Never the Last Journey

Never the Last Journey

by Felix Zandman, David Chanoff
     
 

Felix Zandman is known on Wall Street as the brilliant scientist-entrepreneur whose billion-dollar Fortune 500 company, Vishay Intertechnology, reshaped the electronic component industry. But few are aware of Zandman's incredible personal story: as a teenager he spent a year-and-a-half in Nazi occupied Poland, and that harrowing experience gave him the drive,… See more details below

Overview

Felix Zandman is known on Wall Street as the brilliant scientist-entrepreneur whose billion-dollar Fortune 500 company, Vishay Intertechnology, reshaped the electronic component industry. But few are aware of Zandman's incredible personal story: as a teenager he spent a year-and-a-half in Nazi occupied Poland, and that harrowing experience gave him the drive, discipline, and generosity of spirit that made his later success possible. Taught by his grandmother Tema that the only measure of wealth is what you give away, Zandman lost his entire world in 1943 when the ghetto in his native city of Grodno was destroyed. Jammed with four others into a tiny pit beneath the cottage of a poor Polish peasant, he was left with nothing but his inner resources of imagination, intellect, and will to fend off insanity and find a reason to go on living. Lying next to him in the hole, his uncle taught him higher mathematics, lessons he later turned to good use in winning a doctorate in physics from the Sorbonne. In 1966 he came to the United States, where one of his breakthrough discoveries became the basis for a company he named for his grandmother's shtetl. Vishay revolutionized an industry and today employs sixteen thousand people worldwide, among them the grandson of the woman who saved him.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
The autobiography of an electronics manufacturer whose company, Vishay Intertechnology is named for the shtetl in Lithuania where he was born. His story of survival in the Grodno Ghetto, running guns for the Jewish underground is the haunting background for the story of his search for inner peace while turning his company into a Fortune 500 success, strongly allied with Israel.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a cramped, insect-infested pit beneath a Polish farmer's bedroom floorboards, Jewish teenager Felix Zandman-jammed together with two men and two women-hid from the Nazis for a year and a half. He emerged from this living grave at the age of 17, in 1944, to discover that his parents and sister had been found by the Gestapo in a different hiding place and been deported to death camps. In this moving autobiography, Zandman, a scientist, inventor and CEO of Vishay Intertechnology, a Fortune500 electronics firm based in Philadelphia, describes his odyssey from France, where he arrived in 1946 as an engineering student, to the U.S., where he worked on early nuclear submarines, designed a top-secret Israeli tank and invented an ultraprecise resistor that enabled him to launch Vishay in 1962. Beset by nightmares engendered by his Holocaust ordeal, Zandman laid to rest his internal fury with the help of his second wife, Ruta, whom he met in Israel in 1977, and by testifying in Germany at the trial of the Gestapo butchers who had liquidated his Polish hometown's Jewish ghetto. This is an inspiring, heartbreaking document. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
David Rouse
Zandman's story is simply told, eloquent, and moving. Its title is taken from "A Partisans' Song," a freedom fighters' Yiddish anthem, and it symbolizes overcoming the grimmest of adversities. At the age of 16, Zandman and four others spent 17 months hiding from the Nazis under the floorboards of the house of a Polish peasant family. Surviving that, he then escaped to Paris just as the Iron Curtain was dropping. He went on to study physics and engineering and hold more than three dozen patents. In the 1950s he was recruited by American industry and moved to the U.S. In 1961 he developed a new kind of resistor that no one was willing to produce, so he formed his own company, calling it Vishay after the tiny Lithuanian village of his great-grandparents. Now Vishay Intertechnology is a $664 million company with nearly $1 billion in sales and worldwide operations. Vishay Israel is a significant part of the company's business, and Zandman spends half his time in Israel, encouraging other companies to expand there. Recommended for collections emphasizing biography, business, or Judaica.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805241280
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/16/1995
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.84(h) x (d)

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