Synopses & Reviews
And Yet I Still Have Dreams
is a departure from many Holocaust memoirs and biographies. Based on interviews with "Alex," an anonymous survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and three concentration camps, the story follows him from his assimilated childhood to his coming to terms with his memories of the Holocaust as an older man. Alex is angry, pugnacious, and contemptuous of the stereotypes found in some survivor literature and honest about the shortcomings of other works.
The book provides a connection to seldom discussed aspects of the Holocaust: the gulf between rich and poor Jews and how this translated into everyday survival; the refusal by Alex to see himself or Jews in general as heroes or victims; his own self-absorption as a teen in the ghetto; and his "priviliged" family's near-indifference to the suffering of those around them. Alex paints a picture of complex and diverse Jewish society in prewar Poland, revealing how, many years later and despite his determine to leave it in the past, the burdens of memory--and the dreams--linger.
"This is a splendid book. Its hero, Alex, is not one frequently encountered in the vast post-Holocaust literature. Born in 1927, his family was an unlikely combination of Orthodox Jews, Zionists, and Polish patriots--that is, hihgly assimilated Jews, but Jews nevertheless. Alex describes his harrowing experiences during and after the war without any sentimentality or rancor, but with impressive candor. Wiszniewicz's book is that rare thing--noble, wise, and compulsively readable."
--Abraham Brumberg, author, critic, and editor of Poland: Genesis of a Revolution
"And Yet I Still Have Dreams
will hold a unique place among Holocaust memoirs for the candid portrayal that Alex offers of himself and his circumstances in a voice that compels readers to confront the particular nuances of the devastating events. . . .Regina Grol's elegant translation captures the narrator's rich idiom without sacrificing clarity. Alex's memories and reflections ring true, even if they are sometimes discomforting, and Grol's helpful explanations of pertinent linguistic, cultural, and historical matters greatly enhance Wiszniewicz's original text to the benefit of the English-speaking reader."
--Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director, Modern Language Association
"This book is a find! Alex's haunting memories, almost teased out of him by Wiszniewicz are an important part of the story Jewish life and of post-Holocaust survival."
--Madeline G. Levine, Kenan Professor of Slavic Literatures, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A brutally honest memoir of adolescence in the Warsaw ghetto and coming to terms with the memories years later
And Yet I Still Have Dreams is a departure from many Holocaust memoirs. Angry, pugnacious, contemptuous of the stereotypes found in some survivor literature, and honest about the shortcomings of its characters, the book is based on interviews with "Alex," an anonymous survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and three concentration camps, following his life from a childhood in a family of assimilated Jews to his coming to terms as an older man with his memories.
About the Author
Joanna Wiszniewicz is a writer and researcher at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland. Her main field of interest is the identity formation among children of Holocaust survivors raised in Poland. She is currently at work on a book on this subject and has also previously written another book entitled From Poland to Israel: Interviews with the 1968 Generation (KARTA Publishing House, 1992).
Regina Grol is a professor of Comparative Literature at Empire State College, State University of New York and a specialist in Polish literature. She is the translator and editor of Ambers Aglow: An Anthology of Contemporary Polish Women's Poetry 1985-1995, (Host, 1997).
"Alex" emigrated to the United States after World War II. He now lives on the East Coast where he works as a computer systems analyst.
Table of Contents
And Yet I Still Have Dreams