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Jack and Rochelle Paperback – 21 Apr 2016
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A powerful and illuminating personal account . . . A valuable addition to Holocaust literature. --New York Times Book Review
A story of heroism and of touching romance in a time of fear and danger. --USA Today
From the Back Cover
Jack and Rochelle first met at a town dance before the war. Jack stepped on her toes, and Rochelle lost interest. They did not meet again until the winter of 1942-43, when, after separate escapes from Nazi ghetto labor camps, they discovered each other in the wooded lands of Poland where many Jews and Russians had fled from persecution. Despite the inhuman conditions and the ever-present danger, Jack and Rochelle began a careful courtship that flourished into a deepening love. With a new determination and a thirst for revenge, Jack led raids on nearby Polish farms that were occupied by Nazi sympathizers. So the resistance was waged, often in ignorance of what atrocities were being committed in the rest of Europe. Cut off from the outside world, life depended upon desperate, makeshift warfare strategies. Maintained by a blind faith and their deep love for one another, Jack and Rochelle survived circumstances that had never before been imposed upon a people. They are part of a small group of resistance fighters whose testimony offers a unique perspective on this terrible episode of human history. Lawrence Sutin presents his parents' story in their own words - words that he has heard throughout his life. In a thoughtful afterword, he offers his experiences as a child of Holocaust survivors. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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Told simply, in a conversational format and alternating between Jack and Rochelle, it is a story that I found completely and utterly riveting from the beginning until the end. Starting with the story of Jack and Rochelle's parents, they talk about their childhoods and teenage years, how they knew each other and the way their lives changed with the beginning of the war.
As they meet again in the forest after escaping from the Nazis and living as partisans in underground bunkers, their story goes from a sweet narrative about growing up to a nightmare where they are forced to endure terrible conditions as they fight to survive against the Germans and the harsh Polish weather.
I've read several non-fiction accounts of World War II, but this is the first partisan account that I've read, and it was really quite shocking to read about the realities of living every day in a cramped bunker, with death an ever-present possibility. But amid the horrors that they are forced to endure, there is also a gradual love that emerges between the two of them, and in their telling of the story their continued love really shines through.
Written by Jack and Rochelle, and edited by their son, Lawrence, the book is obviously a labour of love, and despite the terrible things that have happened to them in their lives, it really reflects their love for each other and how very grateful they are to have each other.
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