Hirsch Bieler’s proudly Jewish first-person memoir of displacement, resilience, loss & hope in serial ‘promised lands’ resonates in a world again flooded by refugees. His dramatic life stories, shared with his daughter & son-in-law, became their 40-year quest to document the vanished ‘life & times’ of a family diaspora from Poland to Germany, Chile, England, Denmark, Mexico, Palestine & America. The book traces Hirsch’s odyssey from early life in the Polish-Prussian border town Grajewo, through starvation on WWI’s Eastern Front, his ‘adult adoption’ by a childless Christian couple & entrepreneurial rise in Weimar Germany/Hitler’s Third Reich, to his flight with his young family from Leipzig to Tel Aviv & eventual U.S citizenship. His experiences — as teenage smuggler, then fur trader, Soviet-German petroleum entrepreneur, solo businessman after 1933 Aryanization, & attempted savior of family trapped by Soviet/Nazi invasions — capture in vivid detail the tumultuous events when luck, timing & proper documents meant life or death. They include a revelatory 1928 trip to Mandate Palestine that paved the way for his 1936 emigration there.
A Border Town in Poland: A 20th-Century Memoir
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2021
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