"Zissman's story is gripping, unusual and he tells it well."—John K. Roth, author of Holocaust Politics
In this candid memoir, Harold Zissman examines Jewish existence in prewar and wartime Poland. Born into an observant family, he begins by recalling his youth in the Polish town of Ostrow-Mazowieck, near the German border. It is the 1930s, a time of childhood nostalgia darkened by ominous anti-Semitic uprisings and government indifference.
In lean and concise prose, Zissman relives the German invasion of Poland and his own incarceration in a forced labor camp. He recalls life in the Derechin ghetto, where every day brought brutal Nazi persecution and the constant threat of slaughter. Finally, he tells of escape to Russia, where he fought alongside Soviet partisansonly to face prejudice from his comrades. In the tradition of Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi, Zissman probes the Nazi impact on Jewish notions of identity and community during and after the Holocaust. Few books offer such detailed insights into the complexity, peril, and volatility of life as a Jew among non-Jewish Soviet partisans, even while battling a common enemy.
Harold Zissman and his family emigrated to Chicago in 1948. He has lectured about his experiences during the Holocaust at a number of schools and organizations across the country. The Warriors is his first book.
6 x 9, 182 pages, 9 black and white illustrations, 1 maps