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House of Glass : the story and secrets of a twentieth-century Jewish family

Freeman, Hadley2020
Hadley Freeman knew her grandmother Sara had lived in France, just as Hitler started to gain power in Europe, but rarely did anyone in her family talk about it. Until long after her grandmother's death, she found a shoebox tucked in a closet. In it was: a photograph of her grandmother with a mysterious stranger; a cryptic telegram from the Red Cross; and a drawing signed by Picasso. This discovery sent Freeman on a decade-long journey, as she tried to uncover the significance of these keepsakes. Her search took her from the Picasso archives in Paris to a secret room in a farmhouse in the Auvergne, from Long Island to Auschwitz. Here, Freeman pieces together the puzzle of her family's past. Sarah had three brothers: Jacques, Henri, and Alex. Their lives in France during the war--at times typical, at times remarkable--illustrates the broad range of experiences of Eastern European Jews. Jacques was one of the first to be arrested and sentenced to the concentration camps, where he died. He was on the same train as Irene Nemirovsky, the author of Suite Francaise. Henri hid in his apartment, and survived. He invented a microfilming machine that the resistance used to protect French secrets. Alex, a successful haute couture designer before the war, served in the French Legion. When he was arrested in 1943 and sent to Auschwitz, he pulled up the floorboards of the train, escaped, and was hidden by communists in the French countryside. He went on to become an influential gallerist, and a close friend of Picasso; the boy who began life in a ghetto ended his days living in the most expensive street in Paris. Sarah left for America. Freeman assumed her grandmother must have been thrilled to escape, but the truth was she was miserable-she'd been tricked by her brothers into leaving in the first place. This is a thrilling family saga, with extraordinary twists, vivid characters, and famous cameos. It describes the Jewish and immigrant experience, discussing issues like assimilation, identity and home-issues still relevant today.
London : 4th Estate, 2020.
448 pages : illustrations, portraits, genealogical table ; 23 cm.
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Added title:
LocationCollectionCall numberStatus/Desc
Brighton LibraryAdult Non Fiction - Biography305.892409 GLAOnloan - Due: 01 Jul 2024
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