The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / History / Holocaust

A Sister and Brother in Nazi Poland
Fay Walker and Leo Rosen
With Caren S. Neile

A story of heroism and tragedy writ large and small, of two young people coming of age in a world in chaos

Of the Rosenbluth family, only the older children, Faiga and Luzer, had gone into hiding before the SS rounded up the Jews of Kanczuga, Poland. Hidden is Faiga and Luzer's story, a memoir whose intimate and quiet particularity makes the incomprehensible enormity of the Holocaust immediate, human, and devastatingly real.

In alternating first-person narratives, Faiga (Fay) and Luzer (Leo) take readers into their very different but inextricably linked experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. Faiga, the once-dignified young lady from a good home with servants and a seat by the eastern wall of the synagogue, spends two years wandering the perilous countryside, hoping to be taken for a peasant. Mere miles away, knowing nothing of his sister's fate, Luzer, the leather wholesaler's only son, lies silent all day in the stifling dark corner of a barn, where the smell of the cows' warm hides are a piquant reminder of his lost world.

Hidden deftly summons that world, as the familiar comforts and squabbles of life in a well-to-do, religious Jewish family are slowly overwhelmed by the grim news coming out of Germany. We follow Faiga and Luzer through the early forebodings and deprivations of the war, into hiding among righteous Poles and erstwhile neighbors-turned-betrayers, and finally, at war's end, back once more into the world—but not necessarily into safety. Told in a confident, clear, and unsentimental prose, this is a story of heroism and tragedy writ large and small, of two young people coming of age in a world in chaos and then trying to return to "normal" after experiences as unimaginable as they are unforgettable.

More than one hundred of our people were executed at point-blank range in front of the Brills’ house. Then early one morning, two young SS men, ably aided by the Polish police, rounded up the hundreds of Jews who had not managed to hide themselves in time.

—excerpt from Hidden
© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Fay (Rosen) Walker is a retired dressmaker living in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Leo Rosen is a retired mirror manufacturer; he and his wife, Ethel, have homes in Monroe Township, New Jersey, and Boca Raton, Florida. Caren S. Neile is a professional writer and editor who teaches storytelling at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies.

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September 2002
216 pp  6 x 9  17 b/w photos,
2 maps

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Cloth $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-18060-7
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Hidden possesses an engaging aesthetic value and humanistic touch. . . . It will appeal to a very vast audience: scholars, students, teachers, professors, and laypersons who have an interest in both the Holocaust and the art of surviving in a world that seems devoid of either compassion or loving kindness."
—Yair Mazor, author of Somber Lust: The Art of Amos Oz

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Updated June 23, 2013

© 2013 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System