In 1986, when her mother died at the age of sixty-four, Eleanor Reissa went through all of her belongings. In the back of her mother’s lingerie drawer, she found an old leather purse. Inside that purse was a large wad of folded papers. They were letters. Fifty-six of them. In German. Written in 1949. Letters from her father to her mother, when they were courting. Just four years earlier, he had fought to stay alive in Auschwitz and on the Death March while she had spent the war years suffering in Uzbekistan. Thirty years later, Eleanor—a theatre artist who has been on the forefront of keeping Yiddish alive—finally had the letters translated. The particulars of those letters send her off on an unimaginable adventure into the past, forever changing her and anyone who reads this book.
Eleanor Reissa is Brooklyn born and bred, and attended public schools from kindergarten through college. She is a Tony-nominated director, a Broadway and television actress, a prize-winning playwright, a former artistic director of the world’s oldest Yiddish theater, and a singer who has performed in every major venue in New York City and in festivals around the world. She is a storyteller in English and Yiddish and is the daughter of parents who were Holocaust fighters.