Monday, June 11, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: What Papa Told Me -- Felice Cohen

Listening to your elders is important. The stories they tell you can help you choose your own path in life. And nobody tells history better than someone who's been there.

This book is the life story of Felice Cohen's grandfather, Murray. He grew up in Poland with loving parents and five siblings. When Murray was nineteen, the lot of them were consigned to ghettos or shipped off to German camps.

"What Papa Told Me" is primarily Murray's oral history of his experiences in the camps. It took ingenuity, resourcefulness, and plain luck to survive. Clearly, Murray had all of those and an indefatigable spirit. He worked for the Germans for five years of his life combating pestilence, plague, and unimaginable abuse.

The secondary portion of this book is how Murray made a life for his family in America afterwards. That combination of skills got him from abject poverty to a successful grocery business and a lovely retirement in Boca.

Murray doesn't lecture in his tales. He shines by example and that's the best kind of hero to have.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, June 2012

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