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Op-Ed: Book Review: Once We Were Brothers

This tale of the Holocaust reminds us of how much we need Israel - and how hard it is to achieve justice.
Published: Friday, July 11, 2014 11:45 PM


On vacations, I love to read non-stop – fiction or non-fiction it’s all great.  (Although I do my best while away to avoid reading too many newspapers while away – I get enough of that at work.)

Just finished a simply amazing book titled “Once We Were Brothers”, by Ronald H, Balson, a Chicago based trial attorney, and was so touched by this mesmerizing book.  The story –which reads as fluidly as if it was written by John Grisham  – details the tale of two boys and a family who fight to survive in Poland during the Holocaust.

Without giving away the plot, the story commences with a Holocaust survivor accusing one of the wealthiest men in Chicago of having been a Nazi during the war.

The book explores the story of the survivor – while detailing his accusations in a manner which educates with so many basic details of the Holocaust which make any sane person tear at what our brethren were put through. Through thick and thin, the Jewish accuser is shown as a decent, good, strong person – committed to decency and goodness.

The book extensively explores the humanity of Holocaust survivors, and detailed an amazing love-story even throughout the most difficult of human times.

While the book was fictional, it was quite educational, and was a book I learned a lot from.  It was difficult to put down this very emotional reading, a heart-wrenching story about the need for justice.

As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I realize the importance of remembering the legacy of our martyrs in the Holocaust – and remembering those who survived the atrocities of the Nazis.  “Once We Were Brothers” is a must-read which belongs in every single Jewish household.

Dozens of members of my immediate family were killed in and around Poland.  My maternal grandfather, Morris Waga, and maternal grandmother, Rose Linzer Waga lost brothers, sisters, cousins and more during the time which the Nazis ruled Europe – and the world stood by.

This book is a reminder of the importance of standing up for what is right  - never forgetting – and of course of the importance of a strong and secure, independent State of Israel.

This book reviewer, Ronn Torossian is a regular columnist for Arutz 7 – and his next summer read is on a much-lighter subject.