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No time for patience : my road from Kovno to Jerusalem : a memoir of a Holocaust survivor /
Zev Birger ; foreword by Shimon Peres.
imprint
New York : Newmarket Press, 1999.
description
p. cm.
ISBN
1557043868 (hc)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Zev Birger has been the director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair for over fifteen years. Among other positions he has held in Israel are director of Light Industries, deputy director general of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, executive director of the Economic Council on Printing and Publishing, and head of the Israeli Film Center. For several years, he lived in France and was head of the Paris office of International Creative Management/Film Marketing. He lives with his wife, Trudi, in Jerusalem, and has three sons and nine grandchildren.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-09-27:
For over 50 years, Birger, director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair, refused to share his Holocaust experience with anyone, including his three sons. Breaking a half-century of silence, he writes from the heart in a memoir that is all the more moving for its restrained style. With the German invasion of Lithuania in 1941, Birger and his older brother, Mordechai, were forcibly resettled in the Kovno ghetto. Still in his early teens, he founded an underground Zionist movement, which abetted guerrilla groups fighting the Nazis, saved and circulated Hebrew books and built underground bunkers where Jewish families could hide. In 1944, when the Nazis obliterated the Kovno ghetto, Birger, his brother and their father were captured and transported to Dachau; Birger's mother was sent to a different camp, and he never saw her again. His father perished in Dachau; Mordechai was transferred to another camp, escaped and was eventually caught and executed. By the time Birger was liberated by American soldiers in 1945, he was a typhus-stricken living skeleton. While serving as a translator in an American army unit, he joined a Jewish underground movement that helped displaced Jewish refugees emigrate illegally to British Palestine. He gives a stirring account of how, armed with false passports, he and his young bride, Trudi, sailed from Marseilles to Haifa, cramped on a converted yacht. Written with understated eloquence, his engrossing survivor's account is a story of remarkable courage told with great modesty. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-09-15:
Birger is best known for his work as the director of the Jerusalem Book Fair and his continuing commitment to the Israeli government since its inception in 1948. Until now, however, his life in occupied Lithuania and eventual deportation to Dachau have never been documented. Here he offers a testament to his will to survive, which has carried him through his life and his work. Writing in a simple, conversational style, Birger traces his experiences before the war, in the ghetto under Russian occupation, and, finally, in Dachau, and he shows how these experiences shaped his Zionist beliefs. Although Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz (1986) is more descriptive of daily life in the camps, Birger's memoir is an uplifting and worthwhile addition to the Holocaust genre. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.ÄMaria C. Bagshaw, Lake Erie Coll. Lib., Painesville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Zev's story is one that must be told. Despite living through the Nazi hell, Zev never lost his faith in humanity or in human culture and creativity." -Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel "Breaking a half-century of silence, Zev Birger writes from the heart in a memoir that is all the more moving for its restrained style&Written with understated eloquence, his engrossing survivor's account is a story of remarkable courage told with great modesty." - Publishers Weekly "A richly worthwhile contribution to the library of Holocaust memoirs and a testament to spiritual resistance." - Jewish Book World "An uplifting addition to the Holocaust genre. Recommended." - Library Journal " No Time For Patience , through all of the horrors, is in the end a celebration of the human spirit. It is a book I want my children to read, and their children." -Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams " No Time For Patience is a great gift to us all&We feel an intimate connection and experience the grace and urgency with which Zev tells his story. And that is the greatest accomplishment of the book-the way he makes us all his kin." -Nan Graham, Editor-in-Chief, Scribner "Zev Birger's memoir is an inspiration to us all. A powerful and moving story of suffering and survival, his book of remembrance gives true meaning to the words, 'To Life!'" -Mel Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Book-of-the-Month Club
"Zev's story is one that must be told. Despite living through the Nazi hell, Zev never lost his faith in humanity or in human culture and creativity." -Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel "Breaking a half-century of silence, Zev Birger writes from the heart in a memoir that is all the more moving for its restrained style…Written with understated eloquence, his engrossing survivor's account is a story of remarkable courage told with great modesty." - Publishers Weekly "A richly worthwhile contribution to the library of Holocaust memoirs and a testament to spiritual resistance." - Jewish Book World "An uplifting addition to the Holocaust genre. Recommended." - Library Journal " No Time For Patience , through all of the horrors, is in the end a celebration of the human spirit. It is a book I want my children to read, and their children." -Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams " No Time For Patience is a great gift to us all…We feel an intimate connection and experience the grace and urgency with which Zev tells his story. And that is the greatest accomplishment of the book-the way he makes us all his kin." -Nan Graham, Editor-in-Chief, Scribner "Zev Birger's memoir is an inspiration to us all. A powerful and moving story of suffering and survival, his book of remembrance gives true meaning to the words, 'To Life!'" -Mel Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Book-of-the-Month Club
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, July 1999
Library Journal, September 1999
Publishers Weekly, September 1999
Booklist, December 1999
Voice of Youth Advocates, June 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Birger describes how his idyllic childhood in a Zionist family in Kaunas in Lithuania, was destroyed by Soviet and then German occupation and subsequent deportation to the ghetto. He was the only member of his family to survive Dachau.
Main Description
Until the age of fourteen, Zev Birger enjoyed an idyllic childhood growing up in Kaunas, a flourishing city of mostly progressive Jews in Lithuania. His father held a secure job as an engineer, his mother was warm and loving, and he remembers many blissful afternoons spent playing in the family's garden after Hebrew school. Inspired by Zionist writers, young Zev and his friends firmly believed in the need to establish a homeland for Jews. They could not have known at the time how urgent that need would become in their own lives. In 1940, the Russian army, then a year later the German Nazi machine, invaded Lithuania. The Birgers, along with all the other Jews in the area, were forced into the ghetto in nearby Slobidka. In simple but powerful prose, Zev describes his family's efforts to survive in this ghetto, including being discovered by the SS in a cellar hideaway as gunfire sounded from the approaching front. In 1944, the Birgers were deported to the Dachau/Kaufering concentration camp, where Zev was forced into heavy labor in an underground arms factory. He was the only member of his family to survive. In this brief but moving story, many of the atrocities of ghetto and camp life as they were experienced by a teenaged boy come to light: the last moment he saw his mother's face as she was taken away; the Children's Atkion in 1944, during which more than two thousand children were rounded up and murdered; the rampant starvation and disease around him. But there were also moments of light: a compassionate doctor who spared the boy when he was sick, and numerous brushes with death that left him, astonishingly, alive. Zev credits his stubborn nature, sheer will, and good luck for allowing him to outwit his oppressors on so many occasions and survive until liberation in 1945. The physical and mental strength that saw him through the terrible years would serve him years later when he became involved in the establishment of the State of Israel and a driving force behind the publishing and printing industry in his young country. As a man of books, of language and literature, of cinema and theater, Zev Birger has always supported diversity in Israel's cultural life. His gift of bringing people together is a source of inspiration for young and old everywhere. His story is a testament to hope, survival, and accomplishment.
Publisher Fact Sheet
Compelling true story of surviving the Holocaust.
Short Annotation
Birger describes how his idyllic childhood in a Zionist family in Kaunas in Lithuania, was destroyed by Soviet and then German occupation and subsequent deportation to the ghetto.
Unpaid Annotation
The beloved Director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair tells his compelling story of surviving the Holocaust: his Lithuanian childhood, his time at the death camps in Dachau, his life after the liberation, and his efforts in helping to build the State of Israel.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Author's Notep. x
Back to Dachaup. 1
Childhood: Years of Normalcyp. 5
Clouds of Oppressionp. 31
The German Invasion: Terror and Deathp. 39
The Camps: A Surreal Sufferingp. 67
Liberation: Years of Hopep. 91
Jerusalem: Finally Homep. 123
Epiloguep. 149
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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