The writing of the book was fueled with joy and discovery but there were hard moments, too. Like that time we found out what really happened to Gidon's father, Ernst, whom Gidon bears a striking resemblance to.

 

Gidon Lev on Kibbutz Hazorea, 1963.

Gidon Lev on Kibbutz Hazorea, 1963.

Ernst Löw, Gidon's father, prisoner 12516

Ernst Löw, Gidon's father, prisoner 12516

Then we discovered letters Gidon's mother had sent to a cousin thirty years ago, in which Gidon clearly sees the love, pride and damage his mother carried with her throughout her life. 

 

Gidon age 10

LEFT: Gidon, aged 10, shown a few months after liberation, in 1945. Gidon spent four years of his childhood, from age 6-10 in the Terezin Concentration Camp. 

RIGHT: Gidon and his mother, Doris, 1946. 

Gidon and his mother, Doris, 1946

Joy, discovery and then urgency: In 2019, CNN published a report about the rise of antisemitism in Europe. The report was shocking. Fully one-third of Europeans do not know anything about the Holocaust. One of five Europeans surveyed believes that Jews have "too much influence" in the media and in politics. The world is on fire. 

 

"Unite the Right" rally, Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11th, 2017
Antisemitic graffiti on the childhood home of Elie Wiesel in Romania, August 6th, 2018

"Unite the Right" rally, Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11th, 2017

Antisemitic graffiti on the childhood home of Elie Wiesel in Romania, August 6th, 2018