Forty-seven years after he was found half-dead in the snow, following a death march from Dachau, Solly Ganor again came face to face with his rescuer Clarence Matsumura at a reunion of Holocaust survivors and their American liberators. That meeting proved a catharsis, enabling Ganor to confront for the first time the catalogue of horrors he experienced during the Second World War. Beginning in prewar Lithuania, Light One Candle tells of the ominous changes that took place once Hitler came to power in 1933, of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul who wrote thousands of exit visas for Jews fleeing the Nazi onslaught, of the brutal conditions in the Kaunas ghetto where Ganor spent most of the war, and of Stutthoff and Dachau, the concentration camps he was shuttled to and from in the last, desperate days of the war. Unflinching in its depiction of evil but uplifting in its story of the survival of the human spirit, Light One Candle is a gripping memoir that waited fifty years to be told.
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From Publishers Weekly:
SOLLY GANOR was born in Heydekrug, Lithuania, in 1928. After World War II he worked as an interpreter with the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps, fought in Israel's War of Independence, then joined the Merchant Marine. After twelve years at sea, he married his wife, Pola. They now divide their time between La Jolla, California, and Herzelia, Israel.
This well-crafted, affecting memoir offers a detailed account of the author's struggle to survive the German occupation of Lithuania amid the terrorizing, torture and liquidation of most of the inhabitants of the Kaunas ghetto during WWII. Ganor describes the diabolical way the Nazis turned gentile Lithuanians against Jews and, inside the ghetto itself, neighbor against neighbor. Remaining useful to the Germans was the only way to survive, and Ganor recounts how the Jewish Council set up vocational classes to teach carpentry and other skills. In the end, Ganor was unable to avoid being sent to Dachau concentration camp, from which he was liberated at the eleventh hour by American troops. In postwar years he became a self-described "emotional amputee" who worked hard to suppress his bitter memories of the war. Yet in 1992, he experienced an almost miraculous second liberation when he met Clarence Matsumuru, a veteran of the Japanese American unit that liberated Dachau?and the very man who rescued Ganor from the brink of extinction on May 2, 1945. This absorbing memoir, with its record of suffering and catharsis, is a valuable addition to Holocaust literature.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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