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Path of Hope

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Path of Hope

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Path of Hope
By Menachem Katz
Foreword by Shimon Redlich
Yad Vashem Publications: 2008
Part of the Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs Project
ISBN: 978-0981468617

Book Description:

The memoir opens with the spectacular escape of 18 year old Munio (Menachem Katz) from the murder of the last Jews of Brezazany at the cemetery on June 12, 1943. He was the only "W" (Wehrmacht) forced laborer - those who were thought to have a good chance to survive - who got away. Exhausted and wounded by a German bullet, Munio managed to reach the home of a Polish peasant acquaintance, Piortr Kmiec, int he village of Kurpoatniki. Kmiec and his wife, Hanka and their two daughters, Stefka and Franka, were among those few local people who were willing to assist Jews, endangering their own lives. They sheltered Munio, his mother, his younger sister, Rena, and five member of another Jewish family. For several months, until liberation by the Red Army in July 1944, they hid in a nearby forest. The saga of their survivival centers on the relations between the two Jewish families and the Kmiec family. Katz relates in detail the severe difficulties of daily existence in the closed and crowded spaces, alongside some moments of humor. Katz succeeded in locating Stefka and Franka Kmiec only in the early 1990s, after which the family was honored as Righteious Among the Nations. A circle has been closed.

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