Love, dan­ger and sur­vival

Sep­a­rated by tragedy, a cou­ple tries to sur­vive and re­build dur­ing the Holo­caust and Is­rael’s War of In­de­pen­dence

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - BOOKS - Ben G. Frank is the au­thor of Klara’s Jour­ney and sev­eral Jewish travel guides. • JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Klara’s War, a World War II his­tor­i­cal novel and the se­quel to Klara’s Jour­ney, by Ben G. Frank, deals with dan­ger, ad­ven­ture, sep­a­ra­tion and love as it fol­lows the char­ac­ters across con­ti­nents, from Ukraine, Rus­sia and Ta­jik­istan, to France, Is­rael and Florida.

Klara’s War be­gins in 1941 at the Nazis’ bru­tal at­tack on Rus­sia and causes the flight of young Klara Gross­man, who then meets and mar­ries War­saw-born Volya War­chawski on a train. The young cou­ple, alone and ter­ri­fied, goes on a per­ilous jour­ney through un­fa­mil­iar Asian lands. That is, un­til an un­ex­pected and shock­ing sep­a­ra­tion causes their lives to un­ravel into a des­per­ate fight for sur­vival.

Read­ers of Klara’s War will wit­ness how the story reaches a strik­ing cli­max dur­ing the tur­bu­lent and tu­mul­tuous days of Is­rael’s War of In­de­pen­dence.

“World War II was the worst war in hu­man his­tory. The death toll was as many as 85 mil­lion peo­ple, in­clud­ing six mil­lion Jews. Many of those who sur­vived suf­fered deep phys­i­cal and men­tal an­guish. Lest we for­get,” Frank said.

Among the top­ics of this new and thor­oughly re­searched book is the story of the An­ders’s Army, the name of the Pol­ish armed forces in the East be­tween 1941 and 1942. Cre­ated in the Soviet Union, the army was evac­u­ated from Rus­sia and made its way through Iran to Pales­tine, where it passed un­der Bri­tish com­mand. Many Jewish mem­bers, in­clud­ing one of the main char­ac­ters in the book, desert that unit in Pales­tine and join a group that later be­comes the Jewish Brigade. Frank brings Jewish his­tory to life in this tale of in­ter­con­nected char­ac­ters.

War­ren Adler, au­thor of The War of the Roses and The Ser­pents Bite, has writ­ten that, “In Klara’s War, Ben Frank con­tin­ues the saga of un­for­get­table char­ac­ters. Two decades later, a new, younger, coura­geous and in­trepid Klara ap­pears on the scene. Her re­lent­less search for her fam­ily after the tragedy and dis­rup­tions of the Holo­caust of­fers a re­sound­ing trib­ute to the hu­man spirit and the bedrock pull of peo­ple­hood and fam­ily. This is a story for the ages.”

(Il­lus­tra­tive; cour­tesy)

KEY CHAR­AC­TERS in the book join the Jewish Brigade (pic­tured).

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