Short stories of the Jewish experience in Poland in the years before, during, and after World War II. A slow but steady parade of real-life characters marches across the page, beginning in the paradise of privileged prewar life, moving inexorably forward despite the early warnings of the imminent destruction. Along the way, they forge chasms, shed possessions and family, face the abyss, then regroup with the tatters of their dignity to take stock and give thanks for the mixed blessing of their survival. Anna Baum presents a human catalogue of the vanished world of prewar European Jewry: it is as though she had to survive to become the curator of a treasure trove of personal experience. For while there is suffering and tragedy in this volume, there is culture, tradition, art, music, history, professional and social achievement - and, yes - laughter, dancing and love. Book 2 of 3.