A Story of Love and War
Publication Date: March 2012
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At the heart of this wrenching memoir of a teenage girl’s wartime survival is something utterly unexpected: a love story that blazes briefly in a dark corner of occupied Poland
Millie Werber is today the matriarch of a close and loving family. After moving to the United States in 1946, she and her husband Jack raised their two sons in Queens, NY., where together they built a real estate business. They lived happily together until Jack’s death in 2006. Millie now lives on Long Island surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Eve Keller is a professor and director of graduate studies at Fordham University. She is the author of Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves: The Rhetoric of Reproduction in Early Modern England, and is a past president of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.
“Werber's story is wholly engrossing, written with exceptional immediacy and attention to detail… A deeply affecting addition to Holocaust literature.”
“Among all the shelves of Holocaust memoirs, this book stands out for the quality of the spare, honest, passionate narrative of survivor Millie Werber… A story certain to spark discussion.”
“Every now and then a book comes along that so clearly draws the line between catastrophic devastation and minor nuisance that it’s impossible to ignore… It is impossible to not be moved by the writing in this book, and it is impossible to not be awed by the fact that Werber’s survival was simply based on luck, chance and, often, the kindness of others.”
“While she’s decades younger than Alice Herz-Sommer, Millie Werber is also an inspiring figure. ‘Two Rings: A Story of Love and War,’ which she wrote with Eve Keller (Public Affairs) is a beautifully written memoir of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager. Werber, who now lives on Long Island, reveals the unlikely heroes of her life, and also a powerful and tragic wartime love story that she had kept hidden in the years since.”
“Werber and Keller movingly convey the hopelessness of being a teenager, a widow, and a factory worker at a Nazi-operated facility, with no end to the casual cruelty and violent deaths in sight. In addition, Werber’s 1943 marriage, her time at Auschwitz in 1944, and subsequent relocation to Lippstadt, Germany in 1945 are covered in great detail and make for a compelling read.”
“Aside from the appealing love story that gives this memoir its title, what sets apart the story of Millie Werber—a Jewish teen in Poland forced into the Radom ghetto, then a munitions factory, and finally Auschwitz—from the others is the incongruously poetic beauty of the writing, very similar to that found within the pages of I Have Lived a Thousand Years. While attempting to take notes for this review, I found myself instead copying down reams of quotes, one more stunning than the next… The power of Two Rings: A Story of Love and War is that, through this beautifully immediate writing, the reader observes the details of Hitler’s Final Solution in a new way, through the eyes of an innocent and perceptive young girl.”
Eloisa, James, NPR.org
“A memoir that reels between pain and joy… You will cry reading Two Rings, but despite its sorrow, this memoir is full of deep delight in the human condition, in our ability to love in the midst of war and in the face of death.”