Author(s): Finkelstein, Daniel,
Date of Publication: 08/06/2023,
Pagination: 496 pages,
Imprint: William Collins,
Published By: HarperCollins Publishers,
Book Classification: c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2), Biography: historical political & military, Memoirs, True stories of heroism endurance & survival, The Holocaust, Second World War
THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
From longstanding political columnist and commentator Daniel Finkelstein, a powerful memoir exploring both his mother and his father's devastating experiences of persecution, resistance and survival during the Second World War.
Daniel's mother Mirjam Wiener was the youngest of three daughters born in Germany to Alfred and Margarete Wiener. Alfred, a decorated hero from the Great War, is now widely acknowledged to have been the first person to recognise the existential danger Hitler posed to the Jews and began, in 1933, to catalogue in detail Nazi crimes.
After moving his family to Amsterdam, he relocated his library to London and was preparing to bring over his wife and children when Germany invaded the Netherlands. Before long, the family was rounded up, robbed and sent to starve in Bergen-Belsen. Daniel's father Ludwik was born in Lwow, the only child of a prosperous Jewish family.
In 1939, after Hitler and Stalin carved up Poland, Ludwik's father was arrested and sentenced to hard labour in the Gulag. Meanwhile, deported to Siberia and working as a slave labourer on a collective farm, Ludwik survived the freezing winters in a tiny house he built from cow dung. Hitler, Stalin, Mum and Dad is a deeply moving, personal and at times horrifying memoir about Finkelstein's parents' experiences at the hands of the two genocidal dictators of the twentieth century.
It is a story of persecution; survival; and the consequences of totalitarianism told with the almost unimaginable bravery of two ordinary families shining through.