A Vow Fulfilled
The Fran Laufer Story: Memories and Miracles
By Fran Laufer
A Targum Press Book, 2009, 210 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - December 13, 2010
This is a personal memoir that is written in an easy readable and engaging manner. About a fifth of the book, in the beginning, is an interesting description of life in the Polish town where Fran grew up. She tells about life in a Chassidic family, the jobs Jews had in and outside of town, schools, synagogues, socializing between boys and girls, and other activities. She also devotes a chapter to her husband's upbringing. Both experienced enjoyable periods. But in September 1939, life changed. The Germans declared war and marched into Poland. Fran describes how an uncle saved himself, how her father refused to shave his beard, even though the Germans were killing Jews with beards, and other horrors.
But the book does not dwell on the holocaust. Fran tells her and her husband's holocaust experiences in just two of the book's fifteen chapters. She writes how they came to America and how she and her husband Shimon established successful sweater and interior design businesses. She speaks of their devotion to Jewish tradition and the many charitable activities they engaged in: the group to visit sick, and the synagogues in Hillcrest, Deerfield Beach, Bobov, Jerusalem, and many more.
The book is filled with pictures and reflects a positive attitude toward life and God and people by a woman who survived the twentieth century horror.