‘Tales of Loving and Leaving (AuthorHouse 2016) tells the history of members of Gaby Weiner’s family who were refugees from, and victims of, Nazism. The book focuses on three people whose lives were profoundly affected by the great movements and ‘isms’ of the twentieth century: not only Nazism, but the Russian Revolution, rise and fall of Communism, scientific, technological and artistic change, displacement and migration following World War II, and the Cold War.
The stories, told in chronological ‘slices’, are somewhat different from those offered in other versions of the Jewish Holocaust experience – in two ways in particular. They are about ‘ordinary’ people who were rendered extraordinary by the period through which they lived; and they focus on the treatment and experiences of Jewish immigrants before, during and after the War in different countries, and the impact of their politics on others.
By recounting the stories of these individuals, Gaby shows the effects of separation and trauma, but also how human beings when confronted with horror respond, get on with life, go on to make different futures and seek to be ordinary again. Becoming ‘ordinary’ in a new country is the aim of most refugees, and it certainly was in these three cases. The stories recounted here also show how, following the impact of the Nazi-led genocide, myths were created, secrets were perpetuated, lies were told, shelter was found, futures were shaped and hope was rekindled.’ (Ognisko)