You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Loving, Fighting and Swearing in Yiddish

skirt!  2012

Aron Lieb approached Susan Kushner Resnick at a Jewish Community Center fifteen years ago and found a companion and soul mate who was steadfastly by his side for the rest of his life. You Saved Me, Too: What A Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Loving, Fighting and Swearing in Yiddish is the incredible story of how two people shared the hidden parts of themselves and created a bond that was complicated, challenging, but ultimately invaluable. Susan was first attracted to Aron's warmth and wit, such a contrast to his life story, which included years spent in Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dachau and many forced labor camps, topped with more sadness when he came to America. Soon she would be dealing with his mental illness, fighting bureaucracy so he could get proper medical care before he faded away by himself and questioning her faith. The dramatic tension builds when Susan promises not to let Aron die alone. This book chronicles their remarkable friendship, which began with weekly coffee dates and flourished into much more. With beautiful prose, it alternates between his history, their developing friendship and a current health crises that may force them to part.

Discussion Questions

1) Have you ever questioned how "good" a Jew you are, as author Susan Kushner Resnick did throughout the book?

2) Resnick called Aron her "soul mate" though the two did not have a romantic relationship. Does this fit with your definition of the term soul mate?

3) If Resnick had been part of a social clique in her hometown, do you think she would have been as drawn to Aron as she was?

4) Before reading this book were you unaware, as Resnick was, that elderly Holocaust survivors were falling through the cracks?

5) Why do you think The Lady at The Party stopped helping Susan and Aron at a crucial point in the fight to get him into the nursing home?

6) How could the Jewish community treat Holocaust survivors differently than it does now?

7) Have you ever had an intergenerational friendship? What did you get out of it that you don't get from friends your own age?

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