Two Roads Home: Hitler, Stalin, and the Miraculous Survival of My Family
Presented by Daniel Finkelstein
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Click here to order Two Roads Home from Afikomen Judaica.
In Two Roads Home (Knopf, 2023) British journalist Daniel Finkelstein tells the extraordinary story of the years before his mother met his father—years of war and trials they barely survived.
Daniel Finkelstein’s grandfather was a German Jewish intellectual leader who tolled an early warning of the impending Holocaust and became an archivist of Nazi crimes. He relocated his family to safety in Amsterdam, where they knew Anne Frank. But in those years safety was an illusion: Anne Frank famously went into hiding and Daniel’s mother, Mirjam, also still a child, was sent to Bergen-Belsen with her mother and sisters.
Daniel Finkelstein’s father, Ludwik, grew up in a prosperous Jewish family in Poland where his father, Dolu, was a patriotic hero of the Great War. But when Stalin took control, Dolu was deported to Siberia, and Ludwik and his mother were sentenced to forced labor in Kazakhstan, starved and housed in a stable in freezing conditions.
Two Roads Home is a page-turning account of the narrow escapes, forged passports, ingenuity, bravery, and luck that allowed Mirjam and Ludwik to survive the war and find each other. Using their personal testimony, letters sent to Siberia, a diary written in Belsen, and years of historical research, Daniel Finkelstein tells what happened to two families, one the victim of the Nazis, the other of the Soviets. A tale of deliverance and triumph over evil, Two Roads Home will profoundly touch all who read it.
“What [Finkelstein] has produced is carefully researched and beautifully written; as gripping as any thriller and in places so overwhelming that I had to stop to compose myself. I’ve been moved to tears by books before, but never from page three and then consistently throughout.” —Sam Freedman, The Guardian
Daniel Finkelstein is a weekly political columnist at The Times of London. Formerly an adviser to Prime Minister John Major, he was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013. He recently became a director of Chelsea Football Club. He is married with three children and lives in Pinner, a suburb of London. He is grandson of Dr. Alfred Wiener, founder of the Wiener Library, the world’s oldest Holocaust archive, where he is a patron.