The trajectory of Michael Edelstein's life is framed within a separate journey to remember and make sense of it. Each stage on the arc of life is a section of the book and website. Click links in the graphic to view the sections. Each section has two chapters. The full Table of Contents with chapter links is provided below. 



Table of Contents

My Journey

Memory and Perception • Reliving My Escape • Skala’s Shoah Landmarks • Encounter at the Mazury • Banquet of Remembrance

A Time of Reflection • Survival Factors • Gifts From My Parents • Networks of Saviors •  Skills For Survival • My Postwar Reinvention •  American Deliverance • Making the Most of Survival

The End of Innocence

Called Out as a Zhulik • Skala Before the Devastation • My Relatives and Family History • Jewish Life in Old Skala • The Rise of Zionism • Living Among the Gentiles • The First Soviet Occupation

Outbreak of War • Awaiting the Inevitable • Horrible Harbinger • The German Oppression Begins • Cycle of Persecution • Forced Labor at Borki-Wielke • Uncle Eliya’s Killing Hits Home

Witness to Atrocity

The Roundup in Skala • A Day in Captivity • My Mother’s Gift • Making My Escape • Rude Welcome at the Mazury

Reunited with Tateh • Hiding Out After the Roundup • The Borshchov Ghetto  • Nikolai Getman Rescues Us • A Murder on the Work Detail

Tests of Survival

Entering the Unknown • Life in the Bunker • Close Call in a Forest Sweep • Wracked By Typhus • Police Captain Rambocha • Taken on a Perp Ride

Searching for Tateh • Noch Ain Tog • Night Missions with Lonye • Encounters With Ukrainians • News of the War

In the Aftermath

The Red Army Arrives • Olenka’s Embrace • Evacuation with the Army • Tateh’s Unwelcome Surprise • Declaration of Independence • Helped by My Housemates • My Makeshift Bar Mitzvah

False Accusation • The Repatriation Announcement • Dilemma and Solution • Tateh Is Arrested for Desertion  • Engaging a Czortkov Lawyer • Lonye’s Choice • Tateh Is Discharged

Refugee Experience

Why We Decided to Migrate • Aboard the Repatriation Train • Early Days in Bytom • A Wheeler• Dealer in the Rynek • Encounter with a German Frau • A Life Beyond Poland? • Our Flight to Germany

Welcome to Eschwege • A Young Man in DP Camp •  Zionist Aspirations • Moment of Decision • The Slow Immigration Process • Aboard the USS General Langfitt

Greenhorn in America

Reception Committee • Unexpected Meeting With a Skala Landsman • Fast Track to “Self Sufficiency” • Two Greeners in Brooklyn • An Incident at Kitzel Park • Guys and Dolls at the Colonel David Marcus Club

Uncle Sam Wants Me? • Feygelah’s Story • Military Intelligence Training • Engaged to Be Married • Warrant Officer Goldberg Assigns Me to Cooks School • Discount Deal on a Fabulous Wedding

My Working Life

Breakdown in My First Ford Truck • Scripture and the Art of Collections • How Edelstein & Sons Was Named • Signs of the Times • Investing With Abe Scharf • The Trouble With Brooklyn • Divorcing My Business Partner • Retirement From Roofing

Keys to Success • On the Lookout for the Uptick • Joys of Real Estate Management • Landlord in Good Standing • Managing With Compassion • Taking the Long View

Achieving Menschlichkeit

Relighting the Torch • Parnosseh: Making a Living • No-Nonsense Household • The Boys On the Ladder • Movin’ On Up • All In the Family • Fruits Of Success • Doting On the Next Generation • Our Legacy

A Coin for the Pushke Box • Our First Israel Bond •  Fulfillment of a Dream • Foundation of Support • Appreciation for Israel’s Defenders • Funding Social Welfare • The True Meaning of Chesed • A Community of Givers • Humbled by an Honor