It was late, dark and cold. The little band of travelers were huddled together on the bench of an old train hoping to escape the tightening Nazi noose. Suddenly, they heard the conductor's loud voice, "Vos papiers, s'il vous plaît!" (Papers, please!). My mother's identity card had been stamped not once, but twice with the word, "Juif." She knew that her life and that of her friends now rested in the palms of a stranger, a government official whose job it was to hand them over to the Germans. This is one of the many miraculous escapes found throughout this book. It is a story of survival, not just from the Holocaust, but from old world poverty, broken love and a tenuous peace in order to finally achieve the "American Dream."
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