Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Saul Friedländer’s first memoir, When Memory Comes, recounted a childhood marred by the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler’s reign, a conversion to Catholicism, and a rediscovering of his Jewish roots. This fall, he released a new memoir, Where Memory Leads, which explores the ways that his childhood led him to dedicate his life to Holocaust studies. One Bookish reader will win a copy of both memoirs. Read their official descriptions and then enter in the form below.
Four months before Hitler came to power, Saul Friedländer was born in Prague to a middle-class Jewish family. In 1939, seven-year-old Saul and his family were forced to flee to France, where they lived through the German Occupation, until his parents’ ill-fated attempt to flee to Switzerland. They were able to hide their son in a Roman Catholic seminary before being sent to Auschwitz where they were killed. After an imposed religious conversion, young Saul began training for priesthood. The birth of Israel prompted his discovery of his Jewish past and his true identity.
Friedländer brings his story movingly to life, shifting between his Israeli present and his European past with grace and restraint. His keen eye spares nothing, not even himself, as he explores the ways in which the loss of his parents, his conversion to Catholicism, and his deep-seated Jewish roots combined to shape him into the man he is today. Friedländer’s retrospective view of his journey of grief and self-discovery provides readers with a rare experience: a memoir of feeling with intellectual backbone, in equal measure tender and insightful.
Forty years after his acclaimed, poignant first memoir, Friedländer returns with When Memory Comes: My Life, bridging the gap between the ordeals of his childhood and his present-day towering reputation in the field of Holocaust studies. After abandoning his youthful conversion to Catholicism, he rediscovers his Jewish roots as a teenager and builds a new life in Israeli politics.
Friedländer’s initial loyalty to Israel turns into a lifelong fascination with Jewish life and history. He struggles to process the ubiquitous effects of European anti-Semitism while searching for a more measured approach to the Zionism that surrounds him. Friedländer goes on to spend his adulthood shuttling between Israel, Europe, and the United States, armed with his talent for language and an expansive intellect. His prestige inevitably throws him up against other intellectual heavyweights. In his early years in Israel, he rubs shoulders with the architects of the fledgling state and brilliant minds such as Gershom Sholem and Carlo Ginzburg, among others.
Most important, this memoir led Friedländer to reflect on the wrenching events that lead him to devote sixteen years of his life to writing his Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939–1945.
Prizes provided by Other Press.
Official Giveaway Rules
The following are the Official Contest Rules for the Saul Friedländer Giveaway (the “Contest”).
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—Entries must be submitted beginning at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on December 20, 2016, and no later than 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, on January 4, 2017.
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One (1) winners shall receive one (1) copy of Where Memory Leads by Saul Friedländer and one (1) copy of When Memory Comes by Saul Friedländer.
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