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Forbidden Stawberries Reviewed By June Maffin of Bookpleasures.com
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June Maffin

Reviewer June Maffin:Living on an island in British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Maffin is a neophyte organic gardener, eclectic reader, ordained minister (Anglican/Episcopal priest) and creative spirituality writer/photographer with a deep zest for life. Previously, she has been grief counselor, broadcaster, teacher, journalist, television host, chaplain and spiritual director with an earned doctorate in Pastoral Care (medical ethics i.e. euthanasia focus). Presently an educator, freelance editor, blogger, and published author of three books, her most recent (Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture your Spirituality) has been published in e-book as well as paperback format and a preview can be viewed on YouTube videos. Founder of Soulistry™ she continues to lead a variety of workshops and retreats connecting spirituality with creativity and delights in a spirituality of play. You can find out more about June by clicking on her Web Site.






 
By June Maffin
Published on November 27, 2010
 

Author: Cipora Hurwitz

Publisher : Multi Educator, Incorporated

ISBN-13: 978-1885881380


Not yet six years old, Fela (called Faygeleh by her family) Rozensztajn lived with her Jewish parents and two older brothers in Hrubieszow, Poland where family meals, laughter, joy, security and loving support were an everyday occurrence

Author: Cipora Hurwitz

Publisher : Multi Educator, Incorporated

ISBN-13: 978-1885881380

Click Here To Purchase Forbidden Strawberries


Not yet six years old, Fela (called Faygeleh by her family) Rozensztajn lived with her Jewish parents and two older brothers in Hrubieszow, Poland where family meals, laughter, joy, security and loving support were an everyday occurrence.

On Rosh Hashanah, 1939 – that all changed. World War 11 erupted and for the next six years, the little girl became one of millions whose lives were broken by intimidation, murder, deceptive psychological measures, torture, abject cruelty and unrelenting fear.

Her story would not have been told but for a phone call asking her to accompany a group of young Americans from the Hashomer Hatzair (a Zionist youth movement) to Poland and to give testimony of her life during the war. A film crew accompanied Cipora (the name she chose for herself) as she told her heartbreaking story to the students. The book Forbidden Strawberries is the result.

Theological and philosophical questions underscore the story that revealsr a small child hidden in a back room terrified at every sound, especially the sound of a marble on the floor above her for if a marble landed on a hollow surface, it would make a hollow sound indicating an empty space, a hiding place, under the floor. Daily, German soldiers scoured houses looking for Jews, so hiding place after hiding place became a necessity … the attic of a hut formerly used to wash the dead before burial, fireplace niches, and even an outdoor toilet where she stood upright for hours on end “scared to even breathe” let alone understand why her world had changed so abruptly as fear and cruelty became the norm of her young life.

As Cipora listened to the shouts and pleas of Jews brought to the nearby wall for execution, as the German soldier shot a grandmother holding a helpless infant, she asked “Did he feel anything?” “Did he understand that the old woman and baby were two innocent souls who never caused injustice to anyone?” She questions why God did not hear the everpresent cries for help; why one brother was murdered; why her parents had disappeared; if her oldest brother who had escaped to Russia was safe; and more. But no answers came her way as the horror continued. Before she was even seven years old, her belief in an omnipotent God was shattered. Her questions become the readers’ questions.

Experiences in the Jatkowa ghetto, the Budzyn labour camp and the Majdanek extermination camp taught Cipora things a child should never have to learn, let alone endure: “So many corpses … so much death that death no longer frightened us. It had become almost as natural as life itself.”

How the little girl survived in the ghetto, the camps and then life afterwards (on a forced march; used as a human shield for German soldiers against Russian attack; debilitating illness; a homeless orphan) become stories of unexpected kindness, courage and selflessness of others: Dr. Orenstein, her aunt, other concentration camp prisoners, a peasant family, fruit vendor, Rafael, orphanage staff members and Gertel.

Philosopher and poet George Santayana wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Forbidden Strawberries provides a credible and poignant warning to humanity. A story told through the eyes, mind and heart of a child, the book is a personal portrayal of a tragic historical reality; a captivating and terrifying story about growing up in an ugly time in history under an evil regime; and is a “must-read” for people of every age, particularly youth who will learn about the reality of the Holocaust from the perspective of one of their own.

Click Here To Purchase Forbidden Strawberries