Irene Levin Berman was born, raised, and educated in Norway. Her first conscious recollection of life goes back to 1942, when as a young child she escaped to Sweden, a neutral country during World War II, to avoid annihilation. Germany had invaded Norway and the persecution of two thousand Norwegian Jews had begun. Seven members of her father's family were among the seven hundred and seventy-one unfortunate persons who were deported and sent to Auschwitz.
In 2005, Irene was forced to examine the label of being a Holocaust survivor. Her strong dual identity as a Norwegian and a Jew led her to explore previously unopened doors in her mind. This is not a narrative of the Holocaust alone, but the remembrance of growing up Jewish in Norway during and after WWII. In addition to the richness of both her Norwegian and Jewish cultures, she ultimately acquired yet another identity as an American.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Norway Wasn't Too Small 1
1 The Escape 8
2 R ugees in Exile 17
3 Those Who Came First—The Levin Family 27
4 Those Who Came First—The Selikowitz Family 36
5 The Family That ‘Disappeared’ 50
6 War and Holocaust 71
7 The Silence 103
8 Return from Exile 113
9 Learning How To Be a Norwegian Jew 129
10 On Marrying a Jew 142
11 Life in America 147
12 The Myth about the Danish King 159
13 Identity 165
14 The Journey into the Past 178
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
We really don't know what the Jews went through while being overrun my Germany. It was humiliating and worst of all, they didn't know where they were going or when they would be back. This book was reviewed in our Sons of Norway Magazine and it caught my eye because of something in my childhood. In Fargo, ND, after the potato picker had gone through the field, we were allowed to glean the field and pick up any that were left behind. We paid 50 cents for a 100 pound bag. Yes, it's depressing to read when these people went through, but very educaitonal.
Irene Levin Berman deserves great praise for telling the history of the Jews in Norway and in particular their experience in relation to the Holocaust. It is a travesty that the world has been relatively uninformed about this culture in Scandinavia. Ms Berman's personal voice echoes with every word. I highly recommend this publication.