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Displaced Persons

Growing Up American After the Holocaust

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In this touching account, veteran New York Times reporter Joseph Berger describes how his own family of Polish Jews -- with one son born at the close of World War II and the other in a "displaced persons" camp outside Berlin -- managed against all odds to make a life for themselves in the utterly foreign landscape of post-World War II America. Paying eloquent homage to his parents' extraordinary courage, luck, and hard work while illuminating as never before the experience of 140,000 refugees who came to the United States between 1947 and 1953, Joseph Berger has captured a defining moment in history in a riveting and deeply personal chronicle.

Elie Wiesel Packed with emotion, descriptive and introspective, this powerful and sweetly melancholic memoir, brilliantly written by Joseph Berger, is a remarkable tribute not only to his parents but to an entire generation of Holocaust survivors who, in spite of the burden of suffering they carried from Europe and its legacy of hatred and violence, succeeded in rebuilding their lives and dreams.

The Washington Post Powerful, vivid.

The New York Times An absorbing, deeply moving memoir.

Eva Fogelman author of Conscience and Courage Joseph Berger follows in the tradition of Frank McCourt in being a master storyteller. He recounts a story that is both tragic and uplifting. His journalistic eye for detail will make readers cry, laugh, and never forget his family's saga....At last we have a second-generation voice of Holocaust refugees that defies stereotypes.