15 Sivan 5783 / Sunday 4 June 2023
You might already know me.
Maybe you were among the millions of readers who attended my wedding in Wilmington, Delaware, in James McBride's classic 1995 memoir The Color of Water. In the epilogue you learned about my mother, who hid for 14 months in the sewers of German-occupied Lviv, in what is now western Ukraine.
Or you saw Agnieszka Holland's Oscar-nominated 2011 movie In Darkness, a dramatization of my mother's survival story. Or you recall my 1986 review of Art Spiegelman's Maus in The Wall Street Journal.
Maybe you remember A Bird in the Wind, my Mother's Day 1983 magazine story about my mother; historian Michael Berenbaum called it "the best article ever written about a survivor." Or my 1985 magazine story Journey To My Father's Holocaust, which made me a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.
Eight years ago, I made an exciting discovery while cleaning out my childhood home in Wilmington: Four notebooks filled with 167 handwritten pages of original Polish poetry and prose written by my mother in the sewer. Stay tuned for news about the publication of this material.
This website honors two Jews who emerged from the depths of hell. George endured both Auschwitz and Buchenwald, then had a long career as an engineer with the Du Pont Co. in Wilmington. After her ordeal in the sewers of Lviv, Halina was among the first survivors of the Nazis to speak publicly throughout the United States. They met in the U.S. in 1950, and I was born five years later. You'll find much more here under PARENTS.
I retired from The Philadelphia Inquirer in May 2020. During four decades as a journalist in Philadelphia, I've explored my parents' lives and other matters concerning the Holocaust. I wrote a trilogy of cover stories about my parents in The Inquirer's Sunday magazine. My work has exposed former Nazis in the U.S., including ethnic leaders in the Republican Party. I also have examined how a Swiss financier of fascism used Nazi funds to promote postwar Arab terrorism. You can read all of it here.
Along the way, I've accumulated a significant collection of relevant documents and photographs -- some of which are disturbing -- and I've begun to publish them here under EVIDENCE. You'll find 18 photos shot by German soldiers when they entered Lviv in 1941, and 23 original four-page questionnaires required of Jewish medical professionals in Lviv and western Ukraine in 1941-42. More material coming soon.
I invite you to add your email address below to join the nearly 2,000 subscribers worldwide who receive my free monthly newsletter, archived here under THOUGHTS. You'll get an automated email to confirm your subscription. Thank you.