"Salsitz does serve up enough wonderful stories about tension between Poles and Jews, Zionists and Orthodox, God and man (and even sometimes woman) to earn his place on the shelf with Isaac Bashevis Singer and Isaac Babel."—Kirkus Review
"Salsitz speaks to us both as an exceptional witness to everyday events in the town and as a shrewd observer of the broader landscape. Colorful details bring the people, the customs and habits, both religious and secular, back to life."—Polish Heritage
Kolbuszowa is gone now. Before World War II it was a thriving, small Polish town of 4,000 people, half Polish Catholics, half Jews, where family and the traditional ways of life were strong. It was the town where Norman Salsitz was born, in 1920, the last of nine children. It was the town that he helped to destroy, forced by the Nazis in 1941 to assist in the brick-by-brick destruction of the Jewish ghetto in which his family lived. Salsitz was subsequently sent to a German work camp, but escaped into the woods to live and later tell his story of Kolbuszowa to Richard Skolnik.
Salsitz speaks to us both as an exceptional witness to everyday events in the town and as a shrewd observer of the broader landscape. Colorful details bring the people, the customs, and habits, both religious and secular, back to life.
Norman Salsitz, disguising his identity, joined the Polish Army after his escape from the German work camp. He survived the war, leaving Poland in 1946 for America, where he has lived ever since. He is also coauthor, with his wife, of Against All Odds: A Tale of Two Survivors, which recounts his struggle for survival after the destruction of Kolbuszowa.
Richard Skolnik is professor of history at the City College of New York. Skolnik interviewed Salsitz over a three-year period, accumulating several hundred hours of taped conversations. Skolnik is the author of Jefferson’s Decision, Our Great Heritage and a number of other books.
6 x 9, 0 pages, 34 black and white illustrations, 1 maps