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Summary

A family's story of human tenacity, faith and a race for survival in the face of unspeakable horror and cruelty perpetrated by the Nazi regime against the Jewish people.

Growing up in the safety of England, far away from his family's past, Jonathan Wittenberg had never asked too many questions about his ancestors, although his father had told him Hitler had murdered millions of people and turned thousands of them into bars of soap, including several of Jonathon's relatives.

On a burning June day in Jerusalem, Jonathan, now a rabbi, and his family bury his aunt Steffi in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Afterwards Jonathan discovers a plain linen bag, nestled for years in a suitcase on her balcony, which delves him into his family history.

Through the wartime correspondence of his great-grandmother, Regina; and his great aunts and uncles, Sophie, Trude and Alfred, Jonathan weaves together the strands of an ancient rabbinical family with the history of Europe during the Second World War.

My Dear Ones takes us on a tumultuous journey throughout Europe and the United States and tells the moving story of a family whose lives hang by a silken thread but whose faith in God remains unshakeable throughout.

©2016 Jonathan Wittenberg (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"One of Britain's greatest religious thinkers - asking the toughest, and most enduring, questions. It's time Britain got the chance to hear him in his own voice, telling his own story." (Jonathan Freedland)
"A powerful and illuminating book." (Edward Stourton)
"Moving - at times almost unbearably so - and fascinating." (Antonia Fraser)
"My Dear Ones evokes a whole lost world...heartrending and unputdownable." (Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger)
"A tour de force, and a subject very close to the hearts of so many." (Anne Sebba)

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An inspiring creation

The story and the fact that it is read by it’s author combine to become an inspiration as well as a fascinating detective story. I found myself sad and encouraged according to the stage of this family’s journey through the Holocaust. I could hardly put it down.
A human introduction to the Holocaust for anyone studying 20th century history. A suitable read from teenage upwards- age depending on maturity. It is not about despair, but about determination.

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suffering of war through the eyes of one family

written from the surviving letters of one familys suffering through war and seperation, thoughtfully written.