Lalechka: A Story of Friendship & Courage


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An astonishing manifestation of loyalty and courage . This real story of a little girl born into the chaos of war and holocaust.
It’s a warm and muggy Saturday. night in August of 1942. The Nazis are liquidating the ghetto of Shedlitz, an industrial town east of Warsaw, Poland. Zippa, a 27-year-old Jewish woman, finds temporary shelter in a small attic, together with her baby daughter and a hundred frightened Jews. When the Nazi noose is tightened around her neck, Zippa asks her husband Jacob, a Jewish policeman in the ghetto, to save their little girl from certain death. The young father manages to smuggle his wife and daughter to the gentile part of town, where Zippa’s childhood girlfriends Sophia and Irena reside.  This is the real story of one Jewish family confronted by the terror of Nazi rule. The book follows Lalechka, the little girl born into the chaos of war and holocaust and forced to struggle with the reversals of fortune that led her each time into foreign and terrifying regions. But, beyond that, it is the story of the true friendship of three girls in early 20th Century Poland, a friendship that won’t cower before government dictates. An astonishing manifestation of loyalty and courage.
This is Amira Keidar’s first novel, based on the journal written by the young mother during the annihilation of the ghetto, as well as on interviews with key figures in the story, rare documents and authentic letters.

Our Review: This is a Courageous Story of Three Young Girls That Every Adult Could Learn  Something From: I was given this book for my honest review and I can honestly say it is a MUST READ! Granted get your tissues out before you embark on this journey to WWII but you will not be disappointed. Amira Keidar takes great care delivering the story Rachel, a long-time friend of Amira’s mother, who was dying of cancer shared with her. On her death-bed, Rachel gave her friends the diary her mother wrote during the liquidation of the ghetto of Siedlce (east of Warsaw) in August 1942. Knowing how this true story was given to Amira made it even more impactful. I have always been interested in the stories of the individuals who survived this great tragedy and this book only made me desire more. The story of these three lifelong friends is one of strength, perseverance and sheer grit; it is one that can inspire us all. I encourage you to read this book and get know these truly awe inspiring women.

About the Author:

Amira Keidar was born in the fall of 1963 in a kibbutz in Israel. After serving as an officer in the Israeli Army, she lived for 3 years in Paris where she studied Business French and Political Science. Coming back from France, she completed her B.A. in International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Amira worked for six years as a flight attendant for the Israeli Airline EL-AL and then started to work as a researcher in a national T.V. channel.
During her work as a researcher, Amira wrote dozens of mini-biographies for an interviews show that aired on the channel at that time. Researching and writing about people’s lives made her realize that writing biographies might be her target.

In 2003, Rachel, a long-time friend of Amira’s mother, was dying from cancer. On her death-bed, Rachel gave her friends the diary her mother wrote during the liquidation of the ghetto of Siedlce (east of Warsaw) in August 1942. In the diary – a 9 page document translated from Polish – the 27 year old woman described in bright and sober words all the atrocities of the Nazi rule in her home-town and above all – the horrifying days of the Jewish community annihilation in Siedlce. Rachel’s mother described in details the days she and the one year old Rachel spent in an attic while the Nazis were pursuing Jews in the streets of Siedlce in order to send them to extermination camps.

Reading this diary as a young mother, about the baby struggling to stay alive and about her mother fighting against the dangers outside and inside the attic, made Amira decide she wants others to know about this stunning story.

In June 2007, Amira quit her work as a researcher and a month later she found herself on a plane to Poland, starting her own research for the book she already had in mind.
It was not until 2009 that Lalechka was completed.

Since then, Amira wrote biographies and other family stories for her living. After living almost 20 years in different places, Amira now lives with her two daughters in the kibbutz where she was born.

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