Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind Book Review

After the Holocaust and World War II ended, many who survived the Nazi occupation wanted nothing more than to move on this with their lives. This meant keeping their wartime experiences a secret from the post-war families.

Author Julie Metz is one of these people. The daughter of a child Holocaust survivor, she knew almost nothing about her late mother’s early years until she discovered a book that opened the door to the past. Her 2022 memoir, Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind, tells the story of Metz’s journey to find out what her mother went through as a child.

Growing up in Vienna, Eva’s childhood ended when the Nazis invaded. She would eventually arrive in America as a refugee, but not before going through what no child should experience. The book is a tale of trauma, survival, and circumstances that would test the strongest among us.

This book is really good. Metz has not only perfectly captured the emotions of her mother as a young girl, but also goes on a journey of her own while walking in Eva/Eve’s footsteps.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Eva and Eve: A Search for My Mother’s Lost Childhood and What a War Left Behind is available wherever books are sold.

X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II Book Review

Behind every fictional war story is a real narrative that is sometimes more interesting than its invented counterpart.

X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II, by Dr. Leah Garrett, was published in 2021.

The book starts in the middle of World War II. It looks like the Allies are fighting a losing battle. In England, a plan is concocted to create a commando of unlikely recruits: young Jewish men who are refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. None of them have had any previous military training. Most have been classified as “enemy aliens” due to being born in either Germany or Austria. In addition to being suspected of possibly spying for the other side, these young men have lost everything: their families, their homes, and everything/everyone they held near and dear.

Known as the X Troop, they take on new identities, are trained in secret, and have one goal: to defeat the Nazis. For these soldiers: the fight is personal. They are fighting for their homeland, fighting for the ones they love, and for justice.

The best way to describe the narrative is sort of real-life Inglorious Basterds. It was an amazing book. Dr. Garrett writes in a way that is accessible, readable, and, most importantly, a history lesson we should all learn. It reinforces the idea that European Jews were not just lambs to the slaughter. They fought in whatever capacity they could. From a personal stance, it gives me hope that there are good people out there, even in the midst of antisemitism, hate, and prejudice.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II is available wherever books are sold.

P.S. Today is Memorial Day in the States. May the men and women who gave their lives for this nation (even with its imperfections) forever be a blessing. Z”L

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