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  • Writer's pictureSonya Braverman

An update on The Boy in the Forest: A Holocaust Survivor Returns to Poland

I've begun transcribing my late husband's tape-recorded material that is the basis for The Boy in the Forest. At first, I was just blown away by the sound of his voice, the familiar expressions, and the overwhelmingly emotional content.

When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, his only wish was to return to Poland to say Kaddish for the family who perished there during the Holocaust.

As he stood on Nowolipki Street in Warsaw facing what used to be the home he shared with his parents and siblings, doors away from a Nazi outpost, he realized he had come full circle. For a week, he immersed himself in long-forgotten memories of familiar places, people, and experiences.

Upon leaving Poland decades earlier, he had lost everything including his freedom. He returned as a free man with a successful life to say goodbye forever to the family that died there. Revisiting the most traumatic period in his life was also the most cleansing. And healing.

The process of creating a book from these tapes has been a challenging undertaking. I suspect that those who read his extraordinary tale of remembrance will be deeply moved. It's an ugly and beautiful story all at once.

More updates on The Boy in the Forest later.

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