Delray Beach, FL - Erna Kamerman was just three years old in 1939 when war broke out and came crashing through thedoor of her native Poland, disrupting and forever changing her life and that of her family. Despite the trauma suffered atsuch a tender age, she vividly recalls her experiences of moving to a Jewish ghetto, hiding from the Nazis and escapingwith her mother through the night to live another day. She shares her early memories of being a Jewish child in war-torn Europe in an engrossing new book, Christian by Disguise – A Tale of Survival.
“Life kept me busy and I buried the memory of that time fairly deep,” said Erna Kamerman Perry, 78, from her home in Delray Beach, Fla. “But years have passed and those who have experienced the Holocaust are disappearing. Death is nolonger something far on the horizon but a frequent visitor to many around me. And so, it seems that I must take the chance of telling my story, a story that was a part of the horror my people experienced,” she added.
Because of the foresight of her parents who had young Erna learn Christian prayers while in hiding, she managed to lie and convince soldiers in a train station that she was a Polish Christian girl by reciting her prayers. She escaped with her mother to live in a rectory and convent, where her mother worked as a slave laborer. They remained there, disguised as Christians, through the rest of the war.
Christian by Disguise relates her harrowing ordeals of suffering hunger, living with fear and losing most of her family. It’s a true tale of survival, overcoming adversity and ultimate resilience. While numerous books exist about the Holocaust, there is nothing quite like Christian by Disguise. More than 70 years have passed since that formative event in the train station, yet Erna’s memories about her early experiences are just as sharp and vivid as if they happened recently.
According to Erna, who signed copies of her book at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for readers in August, “I have no illusions that another thread in the weave of the narratives about the Holocaust will make any difference: The deniers of it will keep denying, the haters will keep hating, genocides will keep occurring. I only want my children, my (few) relatives, my friends, and those readers interested in the historical horrors of the 20th century to know that once there was a little girl who, through no fault of her own, had to lie and pretend so she could live to see another day.”
About the book:
Christian by Disguise – A Tale of Survival by Erna Kamerman Perry
Publisher: ComteQ Publishing
Date of publish: March 2014
About the author: