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.

The Upstander: How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate Book Review

More than seventy years after the Holocaust, the number of survivors is fading. The youngest of them, who were children at the end of World War II, are approaching the century-old mark.

Max Glauben is one of these survivors. His story is told in the 2021 book, The Upstander: How Surviving the Holocaust Sparked Max Glauben’s Mission to Dismantle Hate. Written by Jori Epstein with a foreword by Michael Berenbaum, they tell Glauben’s story in startling detail. Born to a middle-class Jewish family in Warsaw, his life was upended by the slow noose that was being pulled around Europe’s Jews.

Forced into the Warsaw Ghetto with his family, he was one of the few people who was able to slip in and out of the ghetto without being noticed. When the war finally ended in 1945, Max had lost his parents, his brother, and other relations. Relocating to the United States, he married and had his own family, but never spoke of his experiences during the war.

After decades of being silent, Max reached a crossroads. He could either stay on the path he was on. Or, he could tell his story, release his pain, and speak for the millions who were murdered.

This book is very good. The character arc from an ordinary young man to a boy who had to grow up quickly and finally to an adult with a past he could not speak of was the narrative hook I needed.

The question that the reader is asked is what they can do. In doing so, Max’s story becomes ours. Though we who are reading the book were not there with him, we bear witness to his experience. By doing so, we remember those who were killed and ensure that the generations coming up will continue to tell their stories.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Best New TV Shows of 2020

  1. Bridgerton (Netflix): This Jane Austen inspired series is based on books by Julia Quinn. Sexy and romantic with a feminist twist, it is the perfect BPD (British Period Drama) to lose one’s self in.
  2. Saved by the Bell (Peacock): The re-imagining of this much loved 1990’s teen comedy program will thrill both new fans and old.
  3. Cursed (Netflix): Based on the comic book by Frank Miller, it revisits the Arthurian myth via Nimue (Katherine Langford).
  4. World on Fire (PBS): This PBS/Masterpiece follows a group of individuals as World War II is on the horizon.
  5. Mrs. America (F/X/Hulu): In the 1970’s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was close to becoming the law of the land. A tug of war begins between one group of women that is for it and another that is against it.
  6. Sanditon (PBS): Based off the unfinished book of the same name by Jane Austen, we follow Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), a young woman who leaves her family for the seaside resort town of Sanditon.
  7. The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix): This Netflix series is based on the books by Ann M. Martin.
  8. Flesh and Blood (PBS): Natalie (Lydia Leonard), Jake (Russell Tovey), and Helen (Claudie Blakely) are unsure about their widow mother’s new boyfriend.
  9. The Weakest Link (NBC): A delightful reboot of the early 2000’s game show of the same name. Hosted by Jane Lynch.
  10. The Windemere Children (PBS): World War II has just ended. 300 child survivors of The Holocaust are taken to England to heal. The adults have their work cut out for them.

Ask Dr. Ruth Movie Review

Though sex and sexuality is part and parcel of human nature, it is often viewed as something dangerous and wrong.

For decades, Dr. Ruth Westheimer (aka Dr. Ruth), has been America’s sex therapist. The 2019 Hulu documentary movie, Ask Dr. Ruth, tells her story. Born in 1928 to an Orthodox Jewish family in Germany, everything was normal for the first ten years of her life. When it became clear that being a Jew in Germany was dangerous, Ruth (then known by her first name, Karola) was sent to Switzerland on the Kindertransport.

At the age of 17, she emigrated to what was then British controlled Palestine (pre-Independence Israel) and joined the Haganah. Years later, she again emigrated to the United States. Living in New York City, she married, raised her two children and became the woman we know her to be today.

The thing I love about her is that at nearly 100 years old, she has the energy of a woman half her age. She represents hope, life, change, and that a woman can never be limited to what she can do because she is “female”. Her presence first on the radio and then on television, helped to open the door to long overdue conversations about sex and sexuality.

I absolutely recommend it.

Ask Dr. Ruth is available for streaming on Hulu.

The Windemere Children/World on Fire Review

For some, World War II and the Holocaust may seem like it was ancient history. Those in the know would say that that period was not so long ago and continues to have an affect on us, 80 years later.

Last night, PBS aired two different programs: The Windemere Children and World on Fire.

The Windmere Children, a television movie, takes place just after World War II. Britain has taken in 1000 child survivors of the Holocaust. 300 of these children are taken to an estate in England to recover. They are traumatized, both physically and emotionally. They are also most likely the only survivors from their families. It is up to the adults around them to help them become children again. Played by Romola Garai, Iain Glenn, and Thomas Kretschmann, the therapists and teachers are doing everything they can to help their charges begin to heal.

World on Fire is a miniseries that tells the story of ordinary people whose lives are turned upside down by the war. Starring Helen Hunt, Jonah Hauer-King, and Sean Bean, this miniseries follows a group of individuals from various countries as they face the dangerous realities of war. Hauer-King’s character is a young man from Britain in love with two women. Hunt plays an American journalist trying to do her job in Europe as the shadow of war grows ever closer. Bean’s character is a working-class father doing the best he can to take care of his children.

I loved both. The Windemere Children is both heartbreaking and uplifting. World on Fire stands out because it tells the stories of ordinary people who must do extraordinary things to survive.

I recommend both.

World on Fire airs on PBS Sunday nights at 9.

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