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

Susan Resnick

April 20, 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.

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

Discussion Questions

1) 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?
2) 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?

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

4) 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?

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

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