After Long Silence A Memoir Author:Helen Fremont Helen Fremont was raised Roman Catholic in America, only to discover in adulthood that her parents were Jews who had survived the Holocaust. Delving into the extraordinary secrets that held her family together in a bond of silence for more than forty years, she recounts with heartbreaking clarity and candor a remarkable tale of surviv... more »al, as vivid as fiction but with the eloquence of truth.
When Helen was small, her mother taught her the sign of the cross in six languages. Theirs was the tender conspiracy of a little girl and her mother at bedtime, protected by a God who could respond in any language. What she didn't understand was that she was being equipped with proof of her Catholicism, a hedge against persecution, real or imagined.
It wasn't until adulthood that she began to comprehend the terrible irony of her mother's gesture, as she and her sister discovered their parents' remarkable, long-held secret. She knew that her father had spent six years in the Siberian Gulag, surviving nearly on will alone; that her mother's elder sister, fearless and proud, had married an Italian Fascist whose title and connections helped them to survive during the war. But their faith, their legacy as Jews, was kept hidden for decades.
After Long Silence is a searching inquiry into the meaning of identity, self, and history. It's about the devastating price of hiding the truth; about the steps we take, foolish or wise, to protect ourselves and our loved ones. No one who reads this book can be left unmoved, or fail to understand the seductive, damaging power of secrets.« less
Imagine being raised Catholic, then to find out the family is really of Jewish background. Fremont has finds this is to be true when she researches her ancestral background. Fremont wants to know who she really is, who her parents are; and continues to seek until she discovers much. She researches the background of her parents who went through the holocaust of Poland during WWII. What she finds out helps her & her sister put pieces of their childhood questions, and perhaps, make sense of their lives. A spellbound read of the many mysteries this family went through during the holocaust of World War II in Poland.
Well written, interesting book about the author's journey of discovery about her family, what they went through in WWII in Europe and how it continues to impact their lives today. Raised Catholic, she and her sister piece together their Jewish heritage and why her parents opted to keep it a secret, even now. Love the author's writing style and descriptions. As usual, with this era of time, I am astounded by what many people went through and amazed by their courage and will to survive, given their circumstances!
A look at pre- and post- WWII from a different perspective...that of a Jewish grandaughter who was raised Catholic, and who in her 30's discovers this secret and forces the powerful history out of her parents. Amazing!!!