Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and a Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other (Hardcover)
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— From Needle in the Bone
Needle in the Bone tells the astonishing stories of Holocaust survivor Lou Frydman and former Polish resistance fighter Jarek Piekalkiewicz. As mere teenagers during World War II, the two men defied daunting odds, lost everything and nearly everyone in the war, and yet summoned the courage to start new lives in the United States. Captured by the German army during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Frydman survived six concentration camps and three death marches. By the war's end, everyone in his extended family had been killed except for his brother. Piekalkiewicz started his own underground army at age sixteen. In addition, one of his uncles was the main leader and another the head treasurer for the Polish resistance before the Nazis discovered, tortured, and murdered them. After the war, Frydman and Piekalkiewicz began the long process of healing, taking different paths through the refugee camps of Europe, and then through university, marriage, and work, eventually leading them both to teaching positions at the University of Kansas, where they met in 1975. Recognizing the trauma and courage of each other's experiences, they became best friends, forming a lasting bond. Needle in the Bone offers insight into the Holocaust and the Polish resistance by entwining the stories of these two survivors. By blending extensive interviews with Frydman and Piekalkiewicz, historical research, and the author's own responses and questions, this emotionally stirring book provides a unique perspective on still-compelling issues, including the meaning of the Holocaust, the nature of good and evil, and how people persevere in the face of unbearable pain and loss.