A powerful story of surviving death camps
My Stormy Youth presents the memoirs, translated from the Yiddish, of Holocaust survivor Mr. Norman Kamelgard, a 74-year-old New Jersey resident born in Poland. Mr. Kamelgard's somber account of Nazi-occupied Poland, transformed from a cultural Mecca to desolate slave-labor ghettos, traces his family's fate from prewar prosperity to death in the concentration camps. His miraculous survival and emigration to Israel encountered further resistance from British authorities, who imprisoned him for bypassing entry procedures and thinking he was a terrorist. Kamelgard's poignant story captures the profound tragedies forever imprinted in Shoa survivors. Like other survivors, his broken dreams of childhood passionately call attention to the enigma of War and futility of genocide. Sixty-two years after Kristallnacht, Norman Kamelgard found inspiration to publish his memories, first written while a British prisoner. Later he contacted a friend who translated the entire Yiddish version into English. Then, through the serendipity of contacting a Michigan cousin, he learned of an editor, another cousin and psychologist author of several books. Parts of My Stormy Youth inspired footage in director Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List.
©2006 Norman Kamelgard & Douglas H Ruben (P)2014 Douglas H Ruben PhD
It was narrated by the son of the survivor with passion and you can feel the emotion in his voice. This blood relationship added a third dimension to the story.
It was not just another story of a holocaust survivor telling about the German atrocities, the allies come to the rescue, liberation came and then life went on. Norman Kamelgard was liberated, fed and clothed but then imprisoned again by the English in Israel.
There are no favorite scenes in this story. Every page revealed another nightmare.
Liberated, fed and then returned to a cage.
This book is very well written and descriptive. The survivors son narrated the book and you could feel his emotions swell as the story progressed. I was shocked to learn that many of the Jews liberated from the concentration camps had no direction and little help when the war ended. Many were released into chaos.
I best liked the specificity of Norman's story, recounted with powerful restraint.
The voice of Norman Kamelgard, which documents his life during the Nazi devastation of Europe is clear and authentic.
This witness to the extermination of Jews left me with gnawing anxiety, as though I was there.
Here is a narrative important to the historical record of the Shoa - it demands to be heard.
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