This Book Would Be An Oscar Worthy Movie
As a ten-year-old child, Leon Rubinstein fled Germany with his parents in 1933, to Luxembourg and then Belgium, which they fled again on the morning of the Nazi invasion. They dwelt quietly as refugees in the south of France until the Vichy government began its roundup of foreign Jews for deportation. After his father's arrest, Leon endeavors to save himself and his mother with a daring journey to the border towns of southeastern France. Disguising their identities, they hitch a ride with German officers. Along the way, courageous French men and women, including a priest, help them cross the Alps into neutral Switzerland. This memoir gives a rare look at the lives of Jewish refugees in Switzerland — the Swiss work camps where Rubinstein toils along with other male refugees; his stint as a teacher at a home for orphaned Jewish children; his rescue by the Red Cross with a scholarship that enables him to complete his education. He also encounters his first great love at the University of Basel, the beautiful Vera, a child of parents lost in the Holocaust. Vera is a passionate Zionist who is determined to make her way to Palestine in the last months of the British mandate. Throughout this deeply felt story is Rubinstein's awareness of his transformation from adolescence to young manhood amid the catastrophic losses and dislocations of the war years in Europe. His personal story resonates with anyone who remembers discovering love, as well as the necessity of choices and sacrifices.
Was this review helpful to you?YESNO