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Two Rings: A Story of Love and Warby Millie Werber, Eve Keller
Judged only as a World War Two survivor’s chronicle, Millie Werber’s story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a
Judged only as a World War Two survivor’s chronicle, Millie Werber’s story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. She faced death many times; indeed she was certain that she would not survive. But she did.
Many years later, when she began to share her past with Eve Keller, the two women rediscovered the world of the teenage girl Millie had been during the war. Most important, Millie revealed her most precious private memory: of a man to whom she was married for a few brief months. He wasif not the love of her lifeher first great unconditional passion. He died, leaving Millie with a single photograph taken on their wedding day, and two rings of gold that affirm the presence of a great passion in the bleakest imaginable time.
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“Eve Keller’s impressive writing paired with Yelena Shmulenson’s gifted narration creates a moving presentation of Millie Werber’s memoir of love and survival amid the horrors of the Holocaust. . . . Shmulenson delivers the emotional impact of Millie’s tragedies and joys, and her successful use of accents adds further authenticity.”
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Meet the Author
Millie Werber is today the matriarch of a close and loving family. After moving to the United States in 1946, she and her husband Jack raised their two sons in Queens, NY., where together they built a real estate business. They lived happily together until Jack’s death in 2006. Millie now lives on Long Island surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Eve Keller is a professor and director of graduate studies at Fordham University. She is the author of Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves: The Rhetoric of Reproduction in Early Modern England, and is a past president of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.
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I'm a historian, although Latin America is my primary interest as opposed to European history. But you don't get through college as a History major without knowing something about the Holocaust. The ads for this book sounded just a litte different from most of the Holocaust memoirs I have read so I bought it on a whim -- however, once I got going, I simply could not put it down. It is a superlative narrative for many reasons, but foremost because it simply rings of truth. Millie Werber is in her 80's now and some of the exact dates and times are blurred, as events of 60+ years ago would be for anyone, but the unmistakable truth in this book firmly establishes it in a class of its own. Millie tells her story of suffering and hope, love and loss of faith, and finally, ultimate triumph, without overdone emotion or excessive pathos. She just tells her story -- carefully and without embellishment. She is forthright about her loss of faith as well as her ability to find hope and redemption in the few simple kindnesses she receives from both Germans and Jews during her ordeal. She expresses her lack of understanding for why she is singled out for these gentle gestures in exactly the same way she expresses her inability to process the entire reasoning behind the cruelty of Nazis and Jews alike. I absolutely loved her almost casual remark that "the only intelligent thing I ever heard a rabbi say about the Holocaust is this: there is no answer; there is no answer to tragedy." Most poignantly, tho, Millie's is a love story -- the memory of a young girl's first great passion as well as the development of her most enduring and great love for the man who becomes her life's partner. Both are crucial to the woman she becomes and after decades of secrecy, she determines that her memories should endure beyond her life. Millie's story is remarkable but even more impressive is her telling of it, "lest it die with me". When I closed this book, I wished unconditionally that I could meet and know this incredible woman. I would suggest that whatever your area of interest, you not miss this book......
Very good book, well written and kept me engaged.
Beautifully written story of devition to the past present and future