WALTZING WITH THE ENEMY: A Mother and Daughter Confront the Aftermath of the Holocaust

WALTZING WITH THE ENEMY: A Mother and Daughter Confront the Aftermath of the Holocaust
    Price: $18.00

    Code: Waltzing

    Weight: 1.10 kilograms



    WALTZING WITH THE ENEMY: A Mother and Daughter Confront the Aftermath of the Holocaust


    by Rasia Kliot and Helen Mitsios


    Published by Penina Press
    Softcover, 287 pages (includes 29 B/W photos)
    ISBN 978-1-936068-21-0
    publication: 2011


    Filled with insight and humor, this dual memoir by Rasia, born in Vilnius, Lithuania (who survived the Holocaust on a false identity), and her daughter Helen, born in Montreal, Canada, examines the long-term implications of being a survivor of the Holocaust and the unique pressures and anxieties the children of survivors inherit from their parents. Rasia, determined to protect Helen from anti-Semitism, continues to pose as a Christian and raises her daughter in the Catholic faith, forbidding her from mentioning her Jewish identity. This compassionate memoir addresses the unspoken tension that complicated a mother-daughter relationship, follows Helen on her journey to embrace Judaism, and is a heart-stopping story of escape and survival from Nazi terror.


    About the authors:

    Rasia Kliot is a volunteer at yivo Institute for Jewish Research in New York. She spent over forty-five years living in Arizona, and now divides her time between Montreal and New York City.

    Helen Mitsios is the editor of Digital Geishas and Talking Frogs: The Best 21st Century Short Stories from Japan, and New Japanese Voices: The Best Contemporary Fiction from Japan, twice listed as a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She has contributed to magazines and newspapers including the Washington Post Book World, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


    Praise for Waltzing with the Enemy:


    "This memoir, an intimate recounting of two very different lives and times, is one of the most honest and life-affirming books I've ever read. It teaches us how the past informs the present and helps explain the world around us today."
    -Howard C. Cutler, M.D., Author of The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, co-authored with His Holiness the Dalai Lama


    "Two more complex subjects than the Holocaust and the relations of mothers and daughters could hardly be imagined. This book guides us through that labyrinth and is so compelling that I couldn't put it down."
    -Richard Lourie, Author of The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin: A Novel


    "Rasia, and her daughter, Helen, have woven an intriguing and unforgettable joint memoir of adventure, heartbreak, and of finding oneself."
    -Barney Rosset


    Mitsios (Digital editor; Geishas and Talking Frogs: The Best 21st Century Short Stories from Japan) and her mother, Kliot, deliver a dual memoir documenting how past tragedies reverberate through the years to affect children of Holocaust survivors. Kliot recalls the anguish and daily terror of her life in Lithuania during WWII. Having survived the Holocaust with false Christian identity papers (and having helped her mother and brother survive posing as Polish farmhands), she continued the charade after the war, falling in love with and marrying a Greek man. In 1951 they settled in Phoenix, Ariz., and Kliot continued to hide her true identity from her daughter, enrolling Helen in a Catholic grade school as "a way of providing her with a Christian identity if the need ever arose.... I didn't want her to be rooted in a Jewish community that could entrap her and leave her vulnerable to discrimination." In the book's second half, Helen writes about seeking her own identity and learning of her mother's, while struggling to change her mother's fear that being Jewish would make them "outcasts." These mirrored memories provide an intimate portrait, compelling and compassionate. 29 b&w photos. (June)
    -Publishers Weekly