Bread or Death

Bread or Death

Memories of My Childhood During and After the Holocaust

Book - 2015
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The war brought about scarcities of just about everything...except misery.

"Alle raise," (everybody out), the German soldiers screamed as they pounded on our door with the butts of their rifles. And thus began a 4,500-mile journey from Poland through Russia and Siberia and eventually to Uzbekistan in Central Asia, as the author's family used bribery and darkness of night to flee as the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939.

Young Mendel, from age four to fourteen, tells in vivid detail the wretched journey in cramped cattle cars through frigid Russia, the indignities of being forced labor, the shame of begging for bread just to survive, and death of those closest to him. The family's plight includes abandonment, hunger, and separation (and later remarkable twists of fate and reunion) quite unlike other Holocaust stories.

This coming-of-age Holocaust memoir is the author's personal account of how-through great sacrifices by his mother-he managed to survive the worst atrocities in human history and his uncertain days in a Polish Children's Home, scrabbling for fallen fruit, and surviving kidnapping and murder on the Black Road, and return to German Displaced Persons camps at war's end. But to what fate?

Originally written as a memoir just for his grandchildren, Milton Kleinberg gives a moving account of his family's hardships and eventual immigration with a lump-in-the-throat passage to America past the Statue of Liberty and into a land of opportunity tinged with bigotry yet with a promise to future generations.

This book for young adults has been reviewed by the Institute for Holocaust Education and includes a glossary, a book club discussion guide, a timeline, and a Teacher's Guide.

Publisher: Omaha, Nebraska :, Fifth Generation Books,, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780989928434
Branch Call Number: B Kleinberg 2015
Characteristics: 256 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Author is a Nebraska Holocaust survivor

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Dec 04, 2017

After hearing the author speak, I read the memoir which reads much like he talks. His blunt, plain-speaking style makes the experiences even more horrific. Kleinberg is quick to point out that those who survive do whatever it takes to live through a war. Historical sidebars in most chapters put his experiences within the context of the bigger war. This book is clearly designed as a teaching tool with a teacher's guide, book club discussion questions, a timeline, and a glossary. Photos, many from the author's personal collection, illustrate the book. This work is very accessible to others as many of the Holocaust survivors are now gone.

Sep 24, 2014

This is a very well written memoir. It gives a simple, factual account of the war going on as a whole while giving a personal account which allows you to wonder- what would I do in that situation? A very resourceful boy, protecting himself and his family and making it out of the war and to another country where he does not know the language and becomes a very successful businessman with a wonderful family. I worked with him and have known of him for 20 years and he has nothing but my high regard and admiration. kg


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