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From Broken Glass
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From the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps who went on to become the City of Boston's Director of Education and created the New England Holocaust Memorial, a wise and intimate memoir about finding strength in the face of despair and an inspiring meditation on how we can unlock the morality within us to build a better world. On October 29, 1939 Szmulek Rosental's life changed forever. Nazis marched into his home of Lodz, Poland, destroyed the synagogues, urinated on the Torahs, and burned the beards of the rabbis. Two people were killed that first day in the pillaging of the Jewish enclave, but much worse was to come. Szmulek's family escaped that night, setting out in search of safe refuge they would never find. Soon, all of the family would perish, but Szmulek, only eight years old when he left his home, managed to against all odds to survive. Through his resourcefulness, his determination, and most importantly the help of his fellow prisoners, Szmulek lived through some of the most horrific Nazi death camps of the Holocaust, including Dachau, Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, and seven others. He endured acts of violence and hate all too common in the Holocaust, but never before talked about in its literature. He was repeatedly raped by Nazi guards and watched his family and friends die. But these experiences only hardened the resolve to survive the genocide and use the experience--and the insights into morality and human nature that it revealed--to inspire people to stand up to hate and fight for freedom and justice. On the day that he was scheduled to be executed he was liberated by American soldiers. He eventually traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, where, with all of his friends and family dead, he made a new life for himself, taking the name Steve Ross. Working at the gritty South Boston schools, he inspired children to define their values and use them to help those around them. He went on to become Boston's Director of Education and later conceived of and founded the New England Holocaust Memorial, one of Boston's most visited sites. Taking readers from the horrors of Nazi Germany to the streets of South Boston, From Broken Glass is the story of one child's stunning experiences, the piercing wisdom into humanity with which they endowed him, and the drive for social justice that has come to define his life.
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About the Author

Steve Ross (Author) Steve Ross, born Smulek Rozental, is the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps--including Dachau, where he was tasked with transporting corpses to the crematorium. He was the Director of Education for the City of Boston, and he conceived of and founded the New England Holocaust Memorial, which was erected in 1995 and remains one of Boston's most visited landmarks. Brian Wallace (Author) Brian Wallace served as a Massachusetts state representative from 2003 to 2011. He grew up in South Boston and as a child met Steve Ross when Ross was assigned to his school as a youth worker. He credits Ross with inspiring him to stay in school and pursue his dream of becoming a politician. Glenn Frank (Author) Glenn Frank is a Boston-based real-estate attorney and the author of Abe Gilman's Ending.

Reviews

"An introspective memoir about the power of perseverance and compassion....This account will inspire others to work in their communities to help the 'forgotten.'...a necessary and timely addition to Holocaust memoirs."--Library Journal "While Ross's is a work of history, it feels timely....Donald Trump's presidency has coincided with a marked uptick in anti-Semitic crimes, including the smashing of two glass panels at the memorial in Boston last year....One of the most striking things about the book is how [Ross] manages to maintain hope."--The Boston Globe "This moving memoir recounts how Ross, who was born Szmulek Rozental in Poland in 1931, created meaning for himself after the Holocaust..An inspirational account of hope overcoming horror."--Publishers Weekly "From Broken Glass is an opportunity to spend time in the presence of an extraordinary man. No one I know of has ever responded to unimaginable brutality with such generosity of deed and spirit, recounted here with understated eloquence."--Congressman Barney Frank, New York Times bestselling author of Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage "Steve Ross is a quiet leader for our city in the things we care about--helping people overcome obstacles, mentoring youth, providing the power of example....As he did this work, Ross brought people together across all kinds of historic boundaries--neighborhoods, races, religions. From Broken Glass is inspiring beyond words."--Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston "Throughout his childhood, Steve Ross was given every reason to hate, fear, and withdraw, but instead he has spent his life building a kinder, gentler, more hopeful world. You cannot read Steve's story and resist his contagious optimism for a better tomorrow."--Congressman Joe Kennedy III "Remarkable...a profound and compelling addition to the literature of the Holocaust at a time when it is more critical than ever to understand both the horrifying depths to which its perpetrators sank and the astonishing capacity for generosity and compassion of the heartbreakingly few survivors. No matter how many memoirs of that terrible time you have read, you will find something new in these pages. There are scenes--a Ukrainian child's shiny black boots spattered with blood, a father eating his beloved small son's mouthful of bread--that will haunt me forever. And there are moments also of inspiring tenacity, nearly incomprehensible open-heartedness that I hope never to forget."--Ayelet Waldman, bestselling author of Love and Treasure "From Broken Glass reminds us of the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights that the human spirit can reach. Steve Ross tells a remarkable story of survival and shows us how a person of good will and character can persevere through unspeakable tragedy and live a life of generosity and kindness."--Frank S. Holleman III, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education "From Broken Glass is a captivating and deeply personal story of a young boy's experience in the Holocaust, and the ways that event shaped his life as an adult in America. Ross's remarkably detailed account stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It is relevant to this day, a reminder of what can happen when we lose sight of the humanity of others in society."--Senator Dianne Feinstein "Striking, fierce, and ultimately uplifting, From Broken Glass is the moving story of how one man found his moral purpose in the crucible of the Holocaust and waged a life-long war against prejudice in all its forms. Just when we need it most, Steve Ross offers our nation a rallying cry for how we can overcome the hatred that divides us."--Robert Trestan, New England Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League "Steve Ross emerges as a resilient character who is determined not to allow the enemies of the past to re-emerge in the present unchallenged; his book opens with a cri de coeur on Charlottesville, and it ends with a defiant testimonial: 'I am a survivor.' A worthy memoir of dark times, full of practical lessons for resistance and community organizing today."--Kirkus Reviews "A timely and beautiful book." --Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Little Failure "Steve Ross's tireless work has helped ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never repeated."--Israel Arbeiter, survivor of Auschwitz

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