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Ester and Ruzya

By Bob Schmidt, Armonk, NY / October 15, 2009

Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace by Masha Gessen is one of the most "can't put it down" books I've read in a long time.  It takes you right into the lives of two Jewish families, one Polish and the other Russian, subjected to radically uncertain futures, whether under Nazi German or Communist Russian governance before, during and after WW II.  Neither regime offered salvation.  In many ways, it's a shorthand "Gulag Archipelago."

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