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Cover for From Holocaust to Hope

From Holocaust to Hope

Shores Beyond Shores - A Bergen-Belsen Survivor's Life

Irene Hasenberg Butter, John D. Bidwell, Kris Holloway

Paperback

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Description

NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FINALIST

"Irene Butter's book is a triumph of clarity and concision, written with a passionate intent to inform and with not a shred of self-pity. It is by turns profound and intimate, and bears witness to the resilience of a family who drew strength from one another even through the darkness of the Holocaust. It is a shockingly honest and hopeful book." Andrew Solomon, National Book Award Winning Author of The Noonday Demon and author of Far From The Tree Parent's Children, And The Search For Identity

"Irene Butter's story is not your standard holocaust memoir. Instead, it recounts what happened to one family both during and after the war, and captures vividly the time from release from concentration camp to greeting a life back. It is compelling reading, and makes one realise how what happened in the immediate aftermath may have overshadowed the rest of Irene Butter's life.." Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger


Irene Butter's memoir of her experiences before, during and after the Holocaust is not a recounting of misery and tragedy; rather it is the genuine story of a girl coming to terms with a terrible event and choosing to view herself as a survivor instead of a victim. When the Dutch police knock on their door, Irene and her family are forced to leave their home and board trains meant for cattle. They are taken to Nazi-controlled prison camps and finally to Bergen-Belsen, where Irene is a fellow prisoner with Anne Frank. With limited access to food, shelter, and warm clothing, Irene's family needs nothing short of a miracle to survive. Irene's memoir tells the story of her experiences as a young girl before, during, and after the Holocaust, highlighting how her family came to terms with the catastrophe and how she, over time, came to view herself as a survivor rather than a victim. Throughout the book, her first-person account celebrates the love and empathy that can persist even in the most inhumane conditions.

Leapfrog Press, 9781948585330, 304pp.

Publication Date: September 28, 2021



About the Author

IRENE HASENBERG BUTTER is a well-known peace activist, Holocaust survivor, and Professor Emerita of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is a frequent and favored inspirational speaker, talking about her experience during World War II and stressing the importance of "never a bystander" and that "one person can make a difference." Irene is a co-founder of Zeitouna, an organization of Jewish and Arab women working for peace, and a founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Project at University of Michigan. John D. Bidwell is consulting editor of Monique and the Mango Rains, the critically esteemed book authored by his wife Kris Holloway that chronicles their time in the Peace Corps with the Malian midwife Monique Dembele. He is the Executive Director of the United Way, Hampshire County and has lectured and taught at the University of Michigan, University of Massachusetts, Smith College, and Marlboro College. John has his BA from McGill University. Kris Holloway is author of the critically acclaimed Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali, which has been called "a respectful, unsentimental portrait [and] a poignant and powerful book." (Kirkus, Starred Review). She has delivered hundreds of presentations, and the book remains a favorite "common read" and is used in 150+ college and university courses. Kris is President of CISabroad, a leading education abroad organization responsible for sending thousands of students to study and intern abroad worldwide. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.