Book Reviewed by Lily Andrews
“Invited to Life: Finding Hope After the Holocaust” by B.A. Van Sise is a deeply moving composition that features the startling experiences of ninety holocaust survivors who lost everything to war including loved ones but rose from the ashes to defy the very prospect of depression and death. Purchase Here.
The author, a veteran photojournalist, has compiled stories of individuals who survived the jaws of extinction, mental and trauma after finding themselves trapped in unfamiliar circumstances and territories, in the wake of a dreadful catastrophe that saw millions of civilians targeted based on their race, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation. As the text progresses, readers will encounter and interact with unique people such as Werner and Weiss, who possessed enduring resilience that saw them remain flexible in action and behavior, in the face of disruptive and highly distressing moments.
It is evident that the majority of the survivors never meted out justice to their tormentors but rather turned to rebuilding new families and careers under the shadow of those absent. New beginnings were not automatic but rather were achieved from deliberate efforts to try not to be warped by the wounds of the past and irreversible scars that had the potential of constantly reminding them that were meant to suffer and die, with no reprieve, no hope, no possible amnesty, and no chance for alleviation stories.
Van Sise’s exposition of holocaust survivors as heroes and heroines who defied devious odds rather than helpless victims places this book in the must-read category of the most real and outstanding holocaust books ever written. The inclusion of stories such as Lyubov’s who in spite of being a woman participated in the eventual liberation and freedom journey will have readers inspired to stand against enemies of peace and unity, and bravely call out the slightest form of discrimination which if ignored can have long lasting consequences over millions of individuals.
“Invited to Life: Finding Hope After the Holocaust” by B.A. Van Sise is overall an invaluable read that will have its readers enlightened besides being challenged to reject hatred, anti-Semitism, injustice, and prejudice that still threaten the world today. Van Sise’s work stands out from all angles and will have the world reminded that every human being, regardless of religion or race should be respected and honored.