“Miracles through Hell: A True Story of Holocaust Survival and Intergenerational Healing” by Jerry M. Elman

Miracles through Hell: A True Story of Holocaust Survival and Intergenerational Healing

Jerry M. Elman
Waterview Books (2022)
ISBN: 978-0578382487
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (03/2022)

“Miracles Through Hell: A True Story of Holocaust Survival and Intergenerational Healing,” was written in memory of those who were involved in the Holocaust. This includes the six million Jews who died, those who survived, and the Christians who helped them despite the danger to themselves. Jerry M. Elman, a first generation American, shows us the Holocaust through the eyes of his parents, who experienced it firsthand. His mother Rochal Gritczak and his father Shmeryl Elman both went through harrowing experiences to escape from Poland. Elman extensively researched the background information and also used personal family diaries for his information. He shares examples from his research, in the appendix. Being able to read copies of original documents adds to awareness of the reality his family experienced.

Elman also discusses the “code of silence,” which was adopted by the holocaust survivors in order to protect the next generations from knowing about the horrors that they went through. This code actually created a second generational trauma for the incoming generations because despite the silence, they were still impacted by family members who had gone through these horrors. Elman experienced this greatly with his mother. By opening up and speaking about it, healing can happen. Sharing his family’s story has helped Elman with his own healing.

“Miracles Through Hell: A True Story of Holocaust Survival and Intergenerational Healing,” is a necessary read for all, especially during our current times where there are people who want us to believe that the Holocaust never happened. We also need to make sure that history does not repeat itself. The author also dispels some misperceptions and misunderstandings that were associated with what happened during this time.

History instructors should make this book required reading for their courses. Elman honors his family’s memories by sharing the story of what they went through. I am so grateful that he did so. This is not easy reading. I found much of it to be heart wrenching. The horror and suffering inflicted on innocent people was hard to bear. I went through so many emotions as I read. It took an incredible amount of resourcefulness for the people to figure out how they were going to try to survive. It is horrific to read about the suffering that millions were put through, and I can’t even imagine the depths of pain that family and friends had to go through knowing that this was happening to their loved ones.

I gained a greater understanding of the strength and determination that was involved for all of the Jewish people who were involved. Readers will be reminded why this is a time that must not be denied nor forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.