Two Rings is a haunting book about the horrors of war and the significance of memory and testimony. During the Holocaust, Millie Werber, who was born in Radom, Poland, was confined to the ghetto in Radom with her family and later worked in a factory where she met Heniek Greenspan, a Jewish policeman, and became his wife. Not long after their marriage, Heniek was betrayed and taken away by the Sicherheitsdienst and Millie was never able to find out how he died. Later, Millie was sent to Auschwitz and then to work in a factory in Germany. The horrific conditions that she experienced in all of these places are described in explicit detail in Two Rings. Juxtaposed with the tender descriptions of Millie’s relationship with Heniek and her second husband Jack, they draw attention to the immense inhumanity and cruelty of war. Notably, the book also includes reflections on Millie’s life after the Second World War, which foregrounds her experiences of the legacies of trauma and loss.
Although Two Rings is written in the first-person from Millie’s point of view, as the book’s dual authorship implies, it came about as a result of the transmission of Millie’s story to Eve Keller, an English professor. The book begins with an Introduction by Keller in which she describes the way in which she became involved with Millie’s story, explores her own academic and Jewish background, and examines the process by which Millie’s testimony became this text. Keller also describes the complexities of rendering Millie’s story on paper.
Strikingly, the cover of Two Rings depicts a photograph of Millie and Heniek and an image of their wedding rings, the only material reminders of their relationship that survived the war. As such, Two Rings challenges the reader to reflect upon the importance and complexities of preserving Millie’s and Heniek’s stories, and Keller’s relationship to their stories, in a written form.