We Never Lost Hope: A Holocaust Memoir and Love Story~ Kirkus Discoveries Review

Five relatives narrate their harrowing World War II experiences in this family chronicle. It could be said that rather than writing this affecting and effective book, Litvin sculpted it. Her breezy but vital narrative provides the shape and overall historical context for her family’s story, but her relatives are the ones doing the real work. Using the first-person accounts of her parents, an aunt, an uncle and a friend of the family, the author offers a nuanced and multifaceted look at the plight of Jews in mid-20th century Eastern Europe. From a small Angora farm in Satu-Mare, Romania, to the horrifying grounds of Auschwitz and finally, to a new life in America, the five distinct voices of Edith, Hilda, and Mendi Festinger, Nate Litvin and Kurt Meyers provide a powerful and intimate journey through one of mankind’s darkest hours. Litvin does well not to mute her sources with an authoritative filter. The book’s undeniable authenticity comes from the life events retold by each narrator—while most historical texts offer one individual’s take, We Never Lost Hope presents five survivors working through their memories. Litvin augmented the book with photographs, news articles and other ephemera (telegrams, maps, etc.) that support the sense of intimacy and reality. Since some accounts can occasionally run long, it may have been helpful for Litvin to provide more editorial insight and direction. Still, the book is a soaring testament to the strength and adaptability of five remarkable people. A wonderfully executed, powerful family chronicle.

Litvin, Naomi WE NEVER LOST HOPE: A Holocaust Memoir and Love Story BookSurge (228 pp.) $16.99 paperback December 18, 2008 ISBN: 978-1-4392-0421-4 Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003


Naomi Litvin: Gadhafi on dissolving Switzerland, his sons, Israel, and the African refugees: His interview with Der Spiegel


Recently the Arab Israeli representatives to the Knesset shocked the world by being  picked up in  Muammar Gadhafi's private jet and whisked off to the 'undeclared enemy' country of Libya. Once there, of course, they couldn't get their passports stamped, since Israelis are banned from entering Libya. But they enjoyed a gala dinner and schmooze which included Libya's ambassador to Jordan, who joined them from Amman. They all pow-wowed inside a giant Bedouin tent. On their return to Israel, the Arab Israeli's encountered some tzuris.
In related news, I have reached 2,000 names on my anti-.ly URL shortener awareness list which draws attention to the infiltration of Libyan sharia law into the world wide web. Coincidentally, in a rare media interview, Gadhafi waxes eloquently about his views on various topics. I am directly quoting the interview from Der Spiegel below.

05/03/2010
SPIEGEL Interview with Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi

SPIEGEL: Mr. Gadhafi, for years you repeatedly got into shouting matches with the Western world before making your peace with arch-enemy America four years ago. Now you have declared a holy war on tiny Switzerland, of all countries. Why?

Gadhafi: Switzerland is one country among many; sometimes you have trouble with one country, sometimes with another. We never had difficulties with Switzerland before. We used to appreciate it as a holiday destination. We used to appreciate its companies and its watches. But then Switzerland began to treat us badly. For example, the minaret issue and the publishing of nasty portrayals of the Prophet. It was necessary to draw a line with the Swiss. That is what I did in my speech in Benghazi to mark the Prophet's birthday.