Yankele: A Holocaust Survivor’s Bittersweet Memoir
In Yankele: A Holocaust Survivor’s Bittersweet Memoir, Alex (Yankele) Gross tells the tale of his life as a Hungarian boy amidst the turmoil of World War II Europe. Beginning with his childhood in the village of Palanok, Alex recalls happy memories nestled in the bosom of family and friends. His peaceful existence was shortly disrupted when his community is rounded up and placed in a ghetto and subsequently deported to Auschwitz. Here Alex vividly depicts the horror of his imprisonment at the camp, his forced march to Gleiwitz, and his ride on the flat car to Buchenwald – a journey that has been similarly immortalized by Elie Wiesel’s Night. After he was liberated, Alex was free to reunite with his surviving siblings in Prague, but also had to face all of the difficulties inherent in beginning a new life. After moving to England, where he begins his practical education under the guidance of his adoptive family, Alex finally makes his way to America where he becomes successful business and family man. Tragedy soon follows, however, with the loss of his teenage son and the murder of his first wife. In spite of this, Yankele endures as a story of happiness, revealing the depths of faith, courage and honor of this modern-day Job.