"Who am I? Where do I belong? Should I hide or reveal my identity? What if we have another Holocaust? How can I continue to live clandestinely?" Anguish, hardship, and the courage to survive flow through Joseph Kutrzeba's veins as he grows up under Nazi occupation in Poland. From a prominent Polish-Jewish family, Joseph is barely fifteen years old and yet is driven to participate in the resistance movement of World War II's Warsaw Ghetto. During one of the Nazi's numerous raids, Joseph is packed into a cattle car bound for the Treblinka gas chambers, but he manages a hair-raising escape from the moving train. Following his turbulent and dangerous wonderings, an idealistic young priest introduces him to the Catholic vernacular; ostensibly to help him disguise his true identity. Following escape after miraculous escape, Joseph is finally liberated by U.S. troops in Germany. Just weeks after coming to America, he is drafted and ends up in the battle zone of the Korean War. On his discharge, Joseph graduates from Yale and later from NYU. Still, his entire life he's tormented by the gnawing, unremitting question: Who am I? This beautifully lyrical memoir describes Joseph's persistence and bravery as he struggles to understand his true self.
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November 01, 2008
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