Holocaust Survivor Recounts Hiding as a Christian to Escape Nazi Persecution
Christian by Disguise - A Tale of Survival by Erna Kamerman Perry
Book-Signing To Be Held at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Aug. 3-4, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
Erna Kamerman was just three years old in 1939 when war broke out and came crashing through the door of her native Poland, disrupting and forever changing her life and that of her family. Despite the trauma suffered at such a tender age, she vividly recalls her experiences of moving to a Jewish ghetto, hiding from the Nazis and escaping with 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 no longer 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.
Erna writes in everyday language, making the book accessible for all ages - including younger readers. Librarians and educators can add a whole new dimension to their history lessons by adding Christian by Disguise as a teaching tool. The book is available in paperback and Kindle online at Amazon.com and for Nook e-reader at BarnesandNoble.com.
According to Erna, who will sign copies of her book at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum this 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 Author Erna Kamerman Perry:
A retired professor of Romance languages, Erna Kamerman Perry, 78, started writing her memoirs in 2013. Born in Poland, she came to the United States via Italy in 1951, and settled in Detroit, Mich., where she attended and graduated high school. She received a scholarship to Wayne State University, where she majored in Romance languages, ultimately receiving both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Gifted with languages, Mrs. Perry speaks Polish, English, Italian, Spanish, German and a little Russian. She taught Spanish and Italian part-time while her two children were growing up and began writing textbooks with her husband, John, in 1972, which she continues to do. Their Contemporary Society text book is in its 14th edition. She and her husband currently reside in Delray Beach, Fla. Christian By Disguise - A Tale of Survival by Erna Kamerman Perry, © 2014, ComteQ Publishing, Paperback, ISBN:978-1-935232-78-0, 122 pages.