Topics: Present tense, Family, Past tense Pages: 2 (617 words) Published: September 15, 2014
Here's Dr. Shirley Russak Wachtel's page
with a synopsis of the book:
The Story of Blima--A Holocaust Survivor
By Shirley Russak Wachtel
Published by Townsend Press

"My Mother’s Shoes is divided into three parts. The first part is told entirely from the author’s mother’s point of view. We find her working in her aunt’s bakery in Dombrowe, Poland shortly after the Nazi Regime has begun. Blima (Betty) is one of seven children, including a protective twin brother, two sisters and two brothers. She and her closest sister, Adele, a former beauty queen, often babysit their two young nieces, the children of her brother, Victor, and Ruchsia. Life is fulfilling for the shy, hardworking young woman, but the ominous foreshadowing of war is already felt as stores owned by “Juden” are labeled with racist slurs and Jews are subjected to boycotts and abuse. While walking home from work one sunny April day, Blima is suddenly grabbed off the street by the Gestapo and placed into a truck with other young Jewish women, the desperate cries of her mother echoing in her ears. At this point, her voice assumes the present tense as, symbolically, time stands still once her past life is gone. She narrates her struggles of trekking through forests, working in the Grunberg labor camp where she is “adopted” by a guard, and finally surviving Bergen Belsen. Blima never abandons hope as she sneaks glances at the few photographs of her family which she has kept hidden next to her bosom. After being freed by British soldiers, she and Ruchsia learn that the entire family except for two brothers has been exterminated. Blima is introduced to a quiet, determined young man named Chiel (Charlie) from Lodz. Chiel is even more alone in the world than she; he is the only one of his family who has survived the war. The two eventually marry and, sponsored by Chiel’s aunt, board a ship for America. The second part of the manuscript alternates chapters between...
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